Nutrition Policy

The issue of obesity in school-aged children has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. There are nearly twice as many overweight children and almost three times as many overweight adolescents as there were in 1980. The two most profound factors contributing to obesity are a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits.

Across the nation, legislation is being developed to combat this epidemic. The focus often falls to our schools because of the impact they can have upon our youth. Children"s physical, cognitive and emotional health has been linked to their readiness to learn and ability to achieve academic success. Good nutrition is just as important as good grades. The eating habits of our children are therefore just as important, especially when good nutrition bolsters academic and athletic performance

In accordance with the expectations and policy requirements of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, the River Vale Public Schools are committed to the guiding principles described below.

“The River Vale Board of Education recognizes that child and adolescent obesity has reached epidemic levels in the United States and that poor diet combined with the lack of physical activity negatively impacts on student"s health, and their ability and motivation to learn. The Board is committed to:

  • Providing students with healthy and nutritious foods;

  • Encouraging the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat milk and whole grains;

  • Supporting healthy eating through nutrition education;

  • Encouraging students to select and consume components of the school meal;

  • Providing students with the opportunity to engage in daily physical activity

The following items may not be served, sold or given out as free promotion anywhere on school property at anytime before the end of the school day

  • Foods of minimal nutritional value as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations;

  • All food and beverage items listing sugar, in any form, as the first ingredient;

  • All forms of candy;

Schools shall reduce the purchase of any products containing trans fats. Federal labeling of trans fats on all food products is required by January 1, 2006.

All snack and beverage items sold, or served anywhere on school property during the school day, including items sold in a la carte lines, vending machines, snack bars, school stores and fundraisers shall meet the following standards:

1) Based on manufacturers nutritional data or nutrient fact labels:

  • No more than 8 grams of total fat per serving, with the exception of nuts and seeds.

  • No more than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving

2) All beverages shall not exceed 12 ounces, with the following exceptions:

  • Water

  • Milk containing 2% or less fat

  • Whole milk shall not exceed 8 ounces

4) In elementary schools:

  • 100% of all beverages offered shall be milk, water or 100% fruit or vegetable juices.

The health and well-being of our students, as well as their academic success is a priority. Students are taught in Health class how to make healthy food choices. With this in mind, we encourage you to use the guidelines above as your model for choosing healthy foods for your child to eat. As in the past, soda has never been a good choice for a beverage. Drinks should be limited to water, low fat milk and 100% fruit or vegetable juices. Children will not be allowed to drink soda while in the school building. Chips and sweet snacks, in excess, are strongly discouraged. Fresh fruits and vegetables are much healthier choices. Candy is a poor choice for snacks and/or lunch.

Working together, we can instill good eating habits in our children that will last a lifetime.

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