Wellness policies are required to identify goals for nutrition education. Each district has the opportunity to choose its own goals to meet this requirement. We encourage standards-based nutrition education integrated into a comprehensive health education curriculum, with other nutrition-related lessons incorporated as feasible into classes taught in other disciplines. The following are simply a few suggestions among dozens of possibilities.
1. Comprehensive Health Education Curriculum
- Use Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework.
- Ensure that there is a written curriculum that covers key nutrition content and teaches health skills related to that content.
- Make sure that there's a clear scope and sequence that includes what will be covered by nutrition education in different grades and encourages progressive improvement in student skills; have a valid assessment system to see whether students have learned content and skills; make sure that teachers have continued professional development on nutrition knowledge and skills.
- The District will provide food and nutrition education for all students as part of the existing Comprehensive School Health Education and Wellness Program.
- Nutrition education will be consistent with the Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks. Nutrition education programs will be designed to help students learn age-appropriate nutritional knowledge and skills, empowering them to assess their own eating habits, make healthy choices, and become educated consumers. Teachers will be responsible for assessing student learning to ensure standards and benchmarks are being met.
Check out our "Healthy Kids Better Students" Newsletter focusing on Nutrition Education
2. Other Policy Considerations for Nutrition Education
- Nutrition education will be offered in the school cafeteria as well as in the classroom, with collaboration between the food service staff and other school personnel including teachers.
- Students will gain the knowledge and skills to select foods that support health and reduce the risk of illness and chronic disease.
- The District will offer educational opportunities for staff members and parents regarding healthy food choices and eating behaviors. Nutrition education will be offered by teachers with appropriate training.
- The District's teaching staff and food service personnel will work together to promote a consistent, coordinated message about nutrition and healthy eating choices.
- Students will receive consistent nutrition messages throughout all school programs and policies.
- Health, Physical Education, and Nutrition staff will receive high-quality professional development in order to advance student knowledge and skill related to nutrition and physical activity.