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Why School Nutrition Is Important


Why is School Nutrition important?

As a supporting effort to the school environment, school nutrition plays a significant role in bettering the health of students. The School Nutrition Program ensures that participating students receive foods that are based on nutritional standards, limits certain nutrients for sale, and provides nutrition materials and professional growth opportunities to school nutrition staff.

The Food Service is often the lead in establishing systems to implement the federally required Wellness School Policies.

As advocates who support families, ensuring that students participate in available nutrition programs is critically important to student growth and development.

What are the state/federal requirements?

This is quite complicated since the federal laws are complex and deal with more than just the "nutrition" of meals. However, CDC has put together a comprehensive document "A CDC Review of School Laws and Policies Concerning Child and Adolescent Health" Acrobat Reader that provides some of the laws associated with school nutrition.

State laws are found at RSA 189:11-a.

What is the data regarding school nutrition?

There are a plethora of data sets available depending on the information needs.

  • The most frequently requested is the number of Free and Reduced parent applications on file for a particular school, community, etc. and
  • The number of schools that offer programs such as breakfast, after-school snacks, etc.

This data is not posted on the NH Department of Education Web site but may be requested through the department.

As a parent, what resources are available regarding school nutrition?

Parents should review materials on their school Web site that will address school nutrition information such as blank income applications, school menus, and school nutritioncontact information.

Parents may also find information by going to the USDA Choose My Plate educational site. A terrific site for parents to learn and work with their children regarding personal nutrition issues.

As an educator, what resources are available regarding school nutrition?

USDA Team Nutrition Healthy Schools Local Wellness Policy Requirements
Access this site for information on how to create, implement, and evaluate a wellness policy. See examples of wellness policies and view funding suggestions.

NHDOE Bureau of Nutrition Programs & Services Local Wellness Policy Toolkit
Visit this site to view a copy of the School Wellness Policy Assessment Form, examples of New Hampshire wellness policy promising practices schools, and related resources

Action For Healthy Kids: Wellness Tool
Follow an eight step process toward the creation of a successful wellness policy

Food Research and Action Center Local School Wellness Policies
Gain information on meeting the needs of low income students via the wellness

Identify any best practices regarding school nutrition.

  • Wellness Executive Summary
  • Wellness Leadership training system Web-based

What should a Web visitor do to learn more about school nutrition?

See above.

Who should be contacted about school nutrition?

Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Services
NH Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-3646


New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711