School Salad Bar

Wellness & Nutrition

School Wellness Policy

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires Local Education Agencies (LEAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program to have a wellness policy. As part of the Healthy Hungry Free Kids Act of 2010, LEAs were required to update and expand their wellness policies by June 30, 2017. Each LEAs’ wellness policy must include the following components:
  • Goals for nutrition education, nutrition promotion, physical activity, and other wellness activities
  • Guidelines for School Meals and other foods sold on the school campus during the school day, USDA and Maryland Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold.
  • Standards for foods made available to students during the school day (birthdays, celebrations, rewards, etc.)
  • Policies for food and beverage marketing
  • Reporting
  • Public involvement 
  • Triennial assessment 
  • Policy Leadership

The Office of School and Community Nutrition Programs (OSCNP) developed two videos to support the final rule implementation. These videos are helpful for new members of wellness councils and teams to better understand the wellness policy requirements. See Getting Started on Implementing the 2017 Wellness Policy Final Rule.

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child 

Many LEAs in Maryland have been recognized as national leaders in their wellness policy work. Maryland has advocated and supported LEAs in developing wellness policies that include components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, a framework developed by the Center for Disease Control to address health in schools.

Wellness Policy Resources

Getting Started on Implementing the 2017 Wellness Policy Final Rule

Getting Started-Wellness Policy

Building a robust team of stakeholders is a critical step in the wellness policy process.
This video identifies strategies for gaining participation and leadership in each step of
wellness policy development, implementation, and review.

Writing Your Wellness Policy

Time to write or update your wellness policy. Ensure your policy includes all required components
and can easily be measured. Find out more details about how to integrate requirements while creating
a policy that works for your school community.

Nutrition Education & Promotion

Each LEAs wellness policy outlines specific guidelines and standards for nutrition education and nutrition promotion. The standards for nutrition education align with national and state health education standards. The OSNCP collaborates with MSDE’s health education specialist and LEA Health Education supervisors to support implementation of these standards. 

With the use of the USDA Team Nutrition Grant, the OSCNP has developed and distributed nutrition education resources to child care centers and schools participating in the Child Nutrition Programs.  The goal of the OSCNP grant-funded nutrition education activities is to improve OSCNP the nutrition environment of schools and child care centers, to support child and student wellness and development, and to demonstrate the nutritional value of Child Nutrition Programs. within that goal, we provide schools and agencies with accurate and up-to-date food and nutrition information as it relates to content and curriculum standards for early childhood education through high school. 

Maryland’s Building Blocks for Healthy Children Nutrition Education Toolkit

The toolkit is focused on shaping positive food preferences and eating habits among preschoolers, specific to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The lessons connect food and nutrition to math, science, and language arts content, aligned with school readiness standards.   Contact our office for more information.