Food Services Wellness Policy
AK Child & Family strives to provide wellness policies that include nutrition, physical activity, and education to promote healthy youth. AK Child & Family participates in the federal school meal programs, including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program (including after-school snacks). We strive to provide an environment that is conducive to growth and that allows youth to succeed.
I. Smart Snack Nutrition Standards- a part of the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010 that provide science-based nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students in school during the school day.
II. MyPlate- MyPlate is a reminder to find your healthy eating style and build it throughout your lifetime. Everything you eat and drink matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. MyPlate offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your individual needs and improves your health, providing a colorful visual of the 5 food groups.
I. Procedures for administering meals follow the federal school meal programs, including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program (including after-school snacks).
a. All marketing and advertising of foods or beverages on school property must meet the Smart Snacks Nutrition Standards.
b. The only beverages offered on campus during the day will be water (no restriction on size), Low-fat milk/ milk substitute and 100% juice. All beverages available on campus must be caffeine-free.
c. AK Child & Family’s meal schedule will allow each student adequate time to eat their meals, time spent acquiring the meal is not included in the time to consume the meal. Each student shall have at a minimum 15 minutes for each student to consume the breakfast meal, and 20 minutes for each student to consume the lunch meal.
d. Youth entering the program during non-meal times are given a full meal upon request regardless of time of day. All youth will be fed three meals a day and meals will never be used as punishment.
II. Nutrition Promotion
a. AK Child & Family’s goal is to provide optimum nutritional support to each student that is consistent with their growth needs and treatment plan. Nutritious foods will be offered to meet the health and nutrition needs of youth.
b. Youth that may require nutrition intervention are evaluated by a Registered Dietician and a nutritional assessment is conducted in accordance with AK Child & Family’s Nutrition Screening and Assessment Procedure. Any dietary accommodations that do not meet the USDA school breakfast or lunch program standards will be documented by the Registered Dietician and Clinical Therapist.
c. AK Child & Family will accommodate religious, ethnic, cultural, and medical needs in meal planning.
d. All foods and beverages given away to youth on campus during the day (as defined by USDA) outside of reimbursable meals, must meet the Smart Snacks Nutrition Standards. For more information on the specific standards and a list of approved snacks, visit the USDA Food and Nutrition Service website (https://www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks).
e. Records of all food items available on campus outside of reimbursable meals must be retained by the Purchasing Manager during each fiscal year.
III. Physical Activity
a. At AK Child & Family, recreational services are provided in the form of structured activities aimed at improving physical and mental health.
b. Youth will have outside physical activity daily. Exceptions to outdoor activity include bad weather, illness, or wildlife danger.
c. Residential students will have the opportunity to participate in organized activities designed to promote good physical and mental health while meeting the therapeutic, social, leisure, and physical needs of students.
i. The benefits of therapeutic recreational activities may include improvements in physical health such as: improved gross and fine motor skills, increased cardiovascular fitness, maintenance of healthy body weight, increased flexibility, increased muscular strength, improvement in overall activity level, enhanced body image, and reductions in health risks.
d. Community-based activities for residential students include, but are not limited to: art programs, Native Youth Olympics, biking, community sports, skiing, hiking, movies, and other forms of entertainment.
IV. Nutrition Education
a. AK Child & Family plays a role in helping youth make healthy food choices. They will serve reimbursable meals that meet the USDA meal pattern requirements. AK Child & Family’s nutrition promotion and education goal is to ensure youth be taught the basic nutrition standards for healthy eating including “MyPlate” and Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
i. For more information visit the USDA Choose My Plate.gov website at (https://www.choosemyplate.gov/dietary-guidelines). Materials are made available and informational posters concerning smoking, health, nutrition are displayed around campuses.
b. The Purchasing Manager and Purchasing Assistant, through the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development’s e-learning service will complete the following trainings: NSLP Meal Pattern Requirements and NSLP Production Records.
c. Based on the above curricula, the Purchasing Manager, together with the Training Department will develop internal Training Guides for The Residential Supervisor and Residential Treatment Program Supervisors (TPSs).
d. In turn, TPSs will train staff on these curricula during regularly scheduled Team Meetings. The staff to be trained will be comprised of “Regular Track” Psychiatric Treatment Technicians I and II (PTCs I & II) who are regularly assigned to shifts including the hours between 6am and 1pm.
e. AK Child & Family’s wellness activities to promote student wellness goals include educating and training staff to become knowledgeable in the area of nutrition or ongoing professional development for teaching nutrition, providing physical activities and/or nutrition services or programs designed to benefit staff health, and encouraging staff to participate in all activities with youth.
V. Collaboration and Compliance
a. At AK Child & Family, we value student health and wellness and encourage collaborative participation in our Food Service Wellness Policy. To do so we have created a diverse team called the Nutrition and Wellness Education Committee (NWEC), made up of committed staff including the Purchasing Manager,
b. Nurse, Dietician and other members to assess AK Child & Family’s needs and develop this wellness policy to meet the operational realities of daily activities and work toward improved health and wellness outcomes for our youth.
c. The NWEC will meet a minimum of twice a year to review and update the food services wellness policy (FSWP), evaluate compliance and progress in attaining the goals of the food services wellness policy; as needs change, goals are met, new information emerges, and the annual review is completed.
d. The Purchasing Manager will act as the Coordinator of the NWEC. The Coordinator will be responsible for oversight and compliance of the food services wellness policy. AK Child & Family will inform the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) by September 30th of each year the name and contact information for the Coordinator. If there is a change in leadership during the year, AK Child & Family will notify NSLP within 60 days.
VI. Providing Information
a. AK Child & Family will retain basic records demonstrating compliance with NSLP’s Wellness Policy including the following documentation: List of NWEC members, copies of annual progress reports for each campus under the jurisdiction, updates to the wellness policy, NWEC meeting information, and how interested parties can get involved with youth wellness at AK Child & Family
b. AK Child & Family will adhere to this policy and all requirements as directed by USDA and the NSLP. Our policy is intended to create a healthy environment for youth and staff and this policy will be updated as new information is released.