BOX 2-1
Requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (P.L. 111-296, Sec. 204) “requires each local educational agency participating in the National School Lunch Program or other federal Child Nutrition programs to establish a local school wellness policy for all schools under its jurisdiction. Each local education agency must designate one or more local education agency officials or school officials to ensure that each school complies with the local wellness policy.”

At a minimum, a local school wellness policy must

  • Include goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness.
  • Include nutrition guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity for all foods available in each school district.
  • Permit parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the general public to participate in the development, implementation, and review and update of the local wellness policy.
  • Inform and update the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of local wellness policies.
  • Be measured periodically on the extent to which schools are in compliance with the local wellness policy, the extent to which the local education agency’s local wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies, and the progress made in attaining the goals of the local wellness policy, and make this assessment available to the public.


ness provisions.1) The educational component of the act raises several key questions, according to Thornton. What is the best way to promote food literacy and nutrition knowledge and educate students on how to make healthy eating choices? How can parents learn to say no when their children ask for unhealthy foods? How can teachers be trained and convinced not to use unhealthy treats as a reward for achievement in schools? Many states used to require that future teachers take a basic course in nutrition education, but such courses generally are no longer required for teacher certification. “Yet, we expect nutrition education to be implemented and integrated in our classrooms today,” Thornton said.


1 See

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