The Manchester School District is committed to creating a healthy school environment that enhances the development of lifelong wellness practices, promotes healthy eating and physical activities that support student achievement, and complies with federal mandates regulating school food and nutrition before, during, and after school.  The USDA defines the school day as “midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the instructional day.”

Nutrition Education Goal

Nutrition education shall:


1.        Teach knowledge and skills needed to adopt healthy eating behaviors.  The District will include in the health education curriculum a minimum of 12 of the following essential topics on healthy eating:


2.         Train staff members with skills necessary to provide nutrition education through professional development.

Nutrition Standards

The district shall ensure that:


Physical Education and Physical Activity Opportunities

Physically active kids are healthier kids and perform better academically. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that youth engage in a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity each day. School districts and schools can implement physical activity programs that maximize opportunities for students to be physically active and help them meet the national recommendation. During the school day, physical education, recess, and activity breaks give students a chance to be active. Schools can also encourage physical activity outside of school hours by promoting community use of school facilities and walking or biking to school. These policies help students reach the goal of engaging in 60 minutes of physical activity daily.

The district shall offer physical education opportunities that:

Other School-Based Activities Designed To Promote Wellness

The district may implement other appropriate programs that help create school environments that promote wellness and are conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools


The District is committed to providing a school environment that ensures opportunities for all students to practice healthy eating and physical activity behaviors throughout the school day while minimizing commercial distractions. The District strives to teach students how to make informed choices about nutrition, health and physical activity. These efforts will be weakened if students are subjected to advertising on District property that contains messages inconsistent with the health information the District is imparting through nutrition education and health promotion efforts. It is the intent of the District to protect and promote student’s health by permitting advertising and marketing for only those foods and beverages that are permitted to be sold on the school campus, consistent with the District’s wellness policy.

Implementation and Measurement

The principal or designee from each school shall implement this policy. The principal or designee shall evaluate the compliance of the policy annually (See Evaluation under Safety 128). The Consultant Dietitian and Director of School Food Services will assist. The principal or designee shall send an assessment form with an action plan to the Superintendent to review. The district shall develop and implement regulations consistent with the intention to offer healthy choices to students and to comply with this policy. Input from teachers (including specialists in health and special education), school nurses, parents/guardians, students, representatives of the school food service program, school board members, school administrators, and the public shall be considered before implementing such rules.

School Food and Wellness Council and Recruitment


The School Food and Wellness Council develops, implements, revises and evaluates the district's food and wellness policy. The United States Department of Agriculture also requires the district to have a wellness council including members such as health and physical education teachers, administration, students, parents, food services and community organization to develop, implement and evaluate the Food and Wellness Policy. The council reports to the superintendent. The superintendent will communicate information about the Food and Wellness Policy Council to the school board as deemed necessary.

The Manchester School District Food and Wellness Council consists of the USDA required members and also members from community organizations. Meeting minutes are posted on the School Food and Wellness Council section of the district website.


Recruitment for members of the council is ongoing but most of the recruitment occurs at the beginning of the school year. Information regarding the council is posted on the website, on the back of the menus, and on a school flyer that is sent to the schools.

Nutrition Promotion Goals


The council works on other nutrition and physical activity promotions and initiatives including a four week nutrition and physical activity journal program, collaborative programs with local sports teams, health speakers for school staff and wellness council members, evaluation of school health curriculum, resources for health curriculum, physical activity pilots and Healthier US Schools Challenge award applications.


The following nutrition guidelines apply to all foods available in venues that are within the district’s control before, during and after school and are outside the federally regulated child nutrition programs. The goal is to address childhood obesity by offering nutrient rich foods from the five food groups while minimizing foods and beverages that are high in calories and low in nutrients. These guidelines will be reviewed annually to assure recommendations reflect current science.


The guidelines provide opportunities for students to make healthy food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, USDA Healthier US School Food Challenge criteria and reflect current science and advice from national organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , American Cancer Society and American Heart Association. Implementation of the policy assures that healthy food choices are offered to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity.

After school is defined as 30 minutes or less past dismissal time.

This policy is based on the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010.


Competitive Foods are defined by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) as foods offered at school, other than meals served through USDA’s school meal programs-school lunch, school breakfast, and after school snack programs.

Artificial Sweeteners (sugar substitutes) are non-caloric sweeteners that include Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet,) acesulfame-K, neotame, saccharin and sucralose (Splenda), and Stevia (Truvia).  Allowable sweeteners include sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup and honey and should be encouraged only in limited amounts.

Deep Fat Frying refers to foods prepared by submerging in hot cooking oils/ fats for cooking.

Foods of High Nutritional Value/Nutrient Rich Foods are foods in the five food groups that provide substantial amounts of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories and added calories from preparation. Nutrient rich choices from the five food groups include colorful vegetables; colorful fruit, and 100% fruit juice; fiber-rich fortified and whole grains; fat free and low fat milk, yogurt and cheese; lean meat, fish poultry, eggs, beans and nuts.

Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value- refers to USDA prohibited sales of high sugar, nutrient void products in competition with USDA meal programs including soda and other carbonated water; water ices (fruit and juice ices excepted); chewing gum; hard, jelly and gum candies; marshmallow; fondant; licorice; spun (cotton) candy; candy coated popcorn.

Saturated Fats are found predominantly in animal products and are solid at room temperature (meat fats, lard, butter, cheese). Saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease.

Trans fats are produced in the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and are commonly found in processed foods (bakery products, popcorn, potato chips, corn chips, french fries, margarine.) Look for partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in the ingredient list. Trans fats raise LDL cholesterol increasing the risk of heart disease.

Vending Foods are foods or beverages purchased from vending machines located anywhere on the school campus, including in the cafeteria and at athletic events.

Water is a nutrient in its own category that is an essential part of a healthy diet.

Whole grain foods are made from whole grains that consist of the entire grain seed, usually called the kernel. To qualify as a whole grain product, the whole grain should be the first ingredient listed on the label (i.e., whole wheat flour)

A List (“A-cceptable” List) refers to a list of products that are assessed by the John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition (JSI).  This list expands as new products are introduced to the marketplace by food companies and is updated regularly. The A-List can be found at

Wellness and Nutrition Policy Procedures for Beverages


Caffeine free

No added natural or artificial sweeteners

Vegetable Juice

Any vegetable juice that is less than 200 mg of sodium per serving

Fruit Juice                

100% fruit juice, no added natural or artificial sweeteners;

elementary 4-6 oz; middle/high 8-12 oz portion

Excessive consumption of fruit juices may contribute to overweight and obesity. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 8-12 oz 100% fruit juice/day for 7-18 year olds.


1% Low fat and fat free

Flavored Milk

Fat free
≤ 8 oz portion-elementary; ≤12 oz portion middle/high

No artificial sweeteners; ≤ 4 grams total sugar/oz


According to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance published by the Centers of Disease Control in June 2014, only 25.9% of students in grades 9-12 drink 2 or more servings of milk per day. The most recent Dietary Guidelines recommend 3 servings of dairy/day for ages 9-18 and 2 ½ cups for ages 4-8.  The Dietary Guidelines support the addition of small amounts of sugar to nutrient rich foods like fat free milk to increase palatability and to improve nutrient intake.


Yogurt Drinks

Low Fat and fat free milk

≤ 8 oz portion-elementary; ≤12 oz portion middle/high

Artificial sweeteners are prohibited; ≤4 grams total sugar/oz

Soy and Rice Beverages

USDA approved dairy substitute preferred

Must be fortified with calcium and vitamin D equal to milk

Fat level ≤ 2.3 grams fat/100 calories (same as low fat milk)

≤ 8 oz portion-elementary; ≤12 oz portion middle/high

Artificial sweeteners are prohibited; ≤ 4 grams total sugar/oz.

Soda, Tea, Coffee

Not allowed

Lemonade, Fruit Drinks, Fruit Punches, Energy Drinks

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Soft Drinks in School: Potential health problems associated with high intake of sweetened drinks are 1) overweight or obesity attributable to additional calories in the diet; 2) displacement of milk consumption, resulting in calcium deficiency with attendant risk of osteoporosis and fractures; and 3) dental caries and potential enamel erosion.

Diet Soda

Not allowed

Diet Beverages

While not a source of calories, these may displace consumption of healthier beverages.

Sports Beverages

Not allowed

Sports drinks are only recommended for actual times of vigorous physical activity that last 60-90 minutes (Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, 5th edition.)


Wellness and Nutrition Policy for Foods Served as a Component of USDA

Reimbursable Meal

Entrée items in the portion sizes served as a component of the USDA reimbursable breakfast and lunch program are recommended for sale without meeting additional nutrition standards.

Fresh, frozen, canned vegetables

Not prepared by deep fat frying

No saturated or trans fats in salad dressings, breading or margarine- type toppings


Fresh, frozen, canned, dried fruit

                Canned in natural juice or water or lite syrup


Low fat and fat free yogurt, pudding, frozen yogurt, ice milk

                ≤200 calories/selling unit

                Artificial sweeteners are prohibited

The American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Calcium Requirements of Infants, Children and Adolescents recommends daily consumption of milk, yogurt and cheese and other calcium rich foods for children to help build bone mass.


Regular and low fat natural and processed cheese

                ≤200 calories/selling unit


Breads, cereals, grains

100% Whole grain

Not prepared by deep fat frying

≥1 2 gram fiber/selling unit


Meat, fish, poultry

                Not prepared by deep fat frying

                No added saturated or trans fats in breading, fillers


Nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, soy butter, hummus

                ≤ 2 oz portion

                No trans fat

Snack foods: chips, pretzels, crackers, popcorn, breakfast pastries, breakfast bars, cookies, cakes, pies

        Snack foods are required to meet the USDA Smart Snacks Policy as follows:

                        ≤ 200 calories per selling unit

                                ≤ 35% calories from fat (≤7.6 grams per selling unit)

≤ 10% calories from saturated fat (≤2.2 grams per selling unit)

No trans fats

≤ 35% total sugar by weight (≤35 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product)

≤200 mg sodium per selling unit

Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value as defined by USDA are not allowed. *Healthy snack options will be chosen from the A-list (A-cceptable List).  Refer to  for the Smart Snacks calculator or for a list of approved snacks or the A-list.

Wellness and Nutrition Policy Procedures for Foods Outside the USDA

Reimbursable Meals


To support children’s health and school nutrition education efforts, the goal of school fundraising during school hours is to use foods that meet the above nutrition and portion size standards of foods and beverages sold and the USDA Smart Snacks Policy and must not be in competition with the school breakfast and lunch program.  See list of ideas for healthy or non-food related fundraising activities on the Manchester School District website.


Staff Food and Fundraisers

Foods consumed by personnel or purchased in the teachers’ lounge that do not meet the nutrition standards shall be kept in the teachers’ lounge. This would include teachers selling food items as an outside fundraiser. All employees of the District are encouraged to be a positive role model for students by following, these guidelines. Students can learn healthy lifestyle habits by observing the food and physical activity patterns of school personnel and other adults who serve as role models in their lives.


Ice Cream and Popcorn

Schools that choose to sell ice cream or popcorn shall not offer either or a combination of both more than twice a week. They shall not be sold during meal times and at least 30 minutes after meal times. The portion of popcorn shall not be more than a 3-cup portion of popcorn. The portion of ice cream or frozen desserts should be a 4 oz portion with 200 calories or less per item and no artificial sweeteners. Frozen desserts should preferably be frozen yogurt, 100% fruit juice, ice milk, or reduced fat ice cream.  Schools that choose to sell ice cream or popcorn will follow the USDA Smart Snacks Policy.


Bake Sales

The principal or designee may allow their school to hold up to nine exempt bake sales or fundraisers, which are one day in duration, per school year.  The sales should not be in competition with the school breakfast and lunch programs.


The school nurse will consult with staff/students during a bake sale about food allergies.  All known ingredients shall be reviewed by the nurse for students with known allergies prior to dissemination.  The nurse cannot guarantee that any item prepared in a home is allergen free.  

School Stores

School stores shall sell non-food items or follow the USDA Smart Snacks Policy. A snack calculator or a list of approved snacks (A-list or Acceptable List) can be utilized. Refer to or  Foods sold in school stores should not be in competition with the school breakfast and lunch program.

School Parties

School parties such as holiday parties shall be limited to no more than one party per month unless nutrition standards for healthy snacks are followed. Teachers shall plan parties according to the nutrition standards. Teachers and parents are also  encouraged to choose non-food items from the birthday party suggestion list on the Manchester School District web site or chose to have one monthly party.

Foods Used as an Incentive or Reward

If schools feel compelled to routinely utilize foods as an incentive, they shall choose from the list of foods that meet the nutrition standards.

Physical Activity Used as a Punishment

Students are more attentive and ready to learn if provided with periodic physical activity breaks.  Physical activity or recess is beneficial for overall health. The removal of physical activity should not be used as disciplinary means.

Wellness and Nutrition Policy Evaluation Procedures

To ensure the most accurate reporting for the Nutrition and Wellness policy, an annual a survey-based evaluation tool shall be conducted in the schools and shared on an aggregate basis (elementary, middle, high) with the school board and the district. From this evaluation, the primary areas for improvement can be identified at each school level, and the Food and Wellness Policy Council shall develop materials/toolkits and trainings to help schools work on these areas.

In addition, each school shall receive their own report to review their individual level of adherence to the policies, which will enable wellness teams to utilize the results to identify areas for improvement. Based on these results, the school wellness teams could also contact the Director of School Food Service and the District’s Consultant Dietitian for assistance/guidance on ways to make improvements or to discuss barriers for achieving the standards.

Revised from 3/09, 11/13/12, 5/29/13; 9/28/15; 10/23/17

First Reading Coordination: 12/11/17

Second Reading and Adoption by BOSC: 1/8/18