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3542.1 Wellness, Nutrition


Northfield, New Jersey X Monitored

X Mandated

Policy Other Reasons


The Northfield 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 students’ health, and their ability and motivation to learn.

The board believes that children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive, and that good health fosters student attendance and education.

Obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the last two decades, and physical inactivity and excessive calorie intake are the predominant causes of obesity. Heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes are responsible for two-thirds of deaths in the United States, and major risk factors for those diseases, including unhealthy eating habits, physical inactivity, and obesity, often are established in childhood. Further, the items most commonly sold from school vending machines, school stores, and snack bars include low-nutrition foods and beverages, such as soda, sports drinks, imitation fruit juices, chips, candy, cookies, and snack cakes.

To promote healthful behavior in the school, the board is committed to encouraging its students to consume fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk and whole grains. The board is also committed to encouraging students to select and consume all components of the school meal.

In order to promote and protect children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn, the board is committed to providing school environments that support healthy eating and physical activity and directs the Superintendent to ensure that the district takes the appropriate measures to meet the following district wellness and nutrition goals:

  1. All students will have opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
  2. Foods and beverages sold or served at school will meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the USDA nutrition standards for National School Lunch, School Breakfast and/or After School Snack Programs. The district will regulate the types of food and beverage items sold outside the federal meal requirements, such as ala carte sales, vending machines, school stores, and fundraisers.
  3. All students will be provided with adequate time for student meal service and consumption in a clean, safe, and pleasant dining environment. Lunch and recess or physical education schedules will be coordinated with the meal service.
  4. To the maximum extent practicable, all schools in our district will participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program including- After-School Snack Programs, Summer Food Service Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program).
  5. Schools will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and will establish linkages between health education and school meal programs, and with related community services.
  6. The board will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing district-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.
  7. District efforts to promote healthy nutrition and nutrition education, physical activity and other school-based activities that promote student wellness shall be measureable and evidence-based strategies and techniques and shall be implemented in each school.

Foods and beverages available for sale including all snack and beverage items sold anywhere on school property during the school day, items sold in a la carte lines, vending machines, snack bars, school stores and fundraisers or served in the reimbursable After School Snack Program, shall meet the United States Department of Agriculture, Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School, as required by the Healthy hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (see 3542.1 Wellness and Nutrition, Federal Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School, Summary Chart).

Committee Review

The Superintendent or his or her designee shall endeavor to engage parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, members of the school board, school administrators, teachers, health professionals, and members of the public for the purpose of developing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing, and, as necessary, revising the school nutrition and physical activity initiatives, A committee may be convened to annually review and when necessary recommend revisions to school policies related to wellness and nutrition.

The committee will annually report to the board on the implementation of programs and initiatives related to student wellness and nutrition. The board shall annually review and consider recommendations of the wellness committee.

Annual Assessment

The board shall ensure that an annual (every year) assessment of the district wellness and nutrition policy and programs is completed. The recommendations of the committee shall be reviewed and considered as part of the annual assessment. The assessment shall measure the implementation of the wellness and nutrition policy, and include:

  1. The extent to which each school is in compliance with the school wellness and nutrition policy;
  2. The extent to which the board wellness and nutrition policy compares to the federal and state model school wellness policies; and
  3. A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the wellness and nutrition policy.

The board shall update or modify the policy and programs as necessary based on the results of triennial assessment.

Physical Activity

For students to receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day) and for students to fully embrace regular physical activity as a personal behavior, the board is committed to providing opportunities for physical activity beyond physical education class. Activities that may be implemented include but shall not be limited to:

  1. Health education will complement and reinforce physical education. Students may be taught self-management skills that promote and help maintain a physically active lifestyle and reduce time spent on sedentary activities, such as watching television;
  2. As initiated and determined by the teacher, opportunities for physical activity may be incorporated into subject area lessons;
  3. Classroom teachers will make an effort to provide short physical activity breaks between lessons or classes, as appropriate;
  4. The daily schedule shall allow for periods of physical activity before or after meal periods and minimum of 20 minutes for recess daily; and
  5. The code of student conduct shall prohibit withholding recess or other periods of physical activity as a consequence or a disciplinary option.

Recordkeeping Requirements

The chief school administrator or his or her designee shall maintain records to document compliance with wellness and nutrition policy requirements. These records shall include but are not limited to:

  1. The written wellness and nutrition policy;
  2. Documentation demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements;
  3. Documentation of the triennial assessment of the wellness and nutrition policy; and
  4. Documentation to demonstrate compliance with the annual public notification requirements.


The marketing of food or beverages shall only be permitted on the school campus during the school day for foods and beverages that meet the competitive foods requirements.

For purposes of this policy, marketing is defined as advertising and other promotions in schools. Food marketing commonly includes oral, written, or graphic statements made for the purpose of promoting the sale of a food or beverage product made by the producer, manufacturer, seller, or any other entity with a commercial interest in the product.

The marketing of products on the exterior of vending machines, through posters, menu boards, coolers, trash cans, and other food service equipment, as well as cups used for beverage dispensing are all subject to board policy, and the logos and products marketed in these areas and items are required to meet the competitive foods standards for foods sold in schools. This restriction shall not apply to marketing that occurs at events outside of school hours such as after school sporting or any other events, including school fundraising events.

General School District Requirements

The district’s curriculum shall incorporate nutrition education and physical activity consistent with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

Food and beverages that are not sold as foods and beverages served during special school celebrations or during curriculum related activities shall be exempt from this policy, However, on such occasions healthy food choices such as fruits, vegetables, fruit juice and water shall be made available to all students participating in such activities.

This policy does not apply to: medically authorized special needs diets pursuant to federal regulations; school nurses using foods or beverages during the course of providing health care to individual students; or special needs students who’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) indicates their use for behavior modification.

Adequate time shall be allowed for student meal service and consumption. Schools shall provide a pleasant dining environment. The board recommends that physical education or recess be scheduled before lunch whenever possible.

The board is committed to promoting the nutrition policy with all food service personnel, teachers, nurses, coaches and other school administrative staff so they have the skills they need to implement this policy and promote healthy eating practices. The board will work toward expanding awareness about this policy among students, parents, teachers and the community at large.

The Superintendent shall develop regulations consistent with this policy, including a process for measuring the effectiveness of its implementation, and designating personnel within each school with operational responsibility for ensuring the school is complying with the policy.

The Superintendent shall ensure that the public is informed about the content of the wellness and nutrition policy. The wellness and nutrition policy and any updates to the policy shall be made available to the public on an annual basis. The policy may be posted on the school website and/or at locations deemed appropriate by the Superintendent.

School Lunch Biosecurity Plan

The Northfield Board of Education is committed to protecting the health of the children and adults in school buildings by strengthening the safety of the foodservice operations. Therefore, the board requires the creation and implementation of a school lunch program biosecurity plan that will keep school meals free from intentional contamination and enable the foodservice to respond to threats or incidents of bioterrorism.

The school lunch program biosecurity plan shall be a document that spells out school lunch program policies and procedures that minimize the risk of intentional contamination of food and reduce the risk of illness or death in the school community.

The plan shall describe strategies for preventing threats and incidents of product tampering and food contamination. The plan shall also include appropriate response actions to be taken should an incident occur. There may be a general plan for all the schools in the district; however, the plan will address the specified roles and responsibilities for individual schools or locations where food is served.

The school lunch program biosecurity plan shall be prepared, revised, and updated in accordance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 2:36-1.13 – Biosecurity for School Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “A Biosecurity Checklist for School Food Service Programs,” March 2004 version, as amended and supplemented, as New Jersey’s Biosecurity Policy for Child Nutrition Programs.

Adopted: October 23, 2006

Revised: October 20, 2008

NJSBA Review/Update: October 2009; December 2010;

Readopted: October 24, 2011

NJSBA Review/Update: October 24, 2016; July 2019

Key Words

School Lunch, Food Service, Nutrition, Wellness,

Legal References: N.J.S.A. 18A:11‑1 General mandatory powers and duties

N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-4.1 f.,h. Use of competitive contracting in lieu of public bidding; boards of education

See particularly:

N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-5a(6)

N.J.S.A. 18A:18A‑6 Standards for purchase of fresh milk; penalties; rules and regulations

N.J.S.A. 18A:33‑3

through ‑5 Cafeterias for students

N.J.S.A. 18A:33‑9

through ‑14 Findings, declarations relative to school breakfast programs..

See particularly:

N.J.S.A. 18A:33-10

N.J.S.A. 18A:33-15 Improved Nutrition and Activity Act (IMPACT Act)

through -19

N.J.S.A. 18A:54‑20 Powers of board (county vocational schools)

N.J.S.A. 18A:58‑7.1

through ‑7.2 School lunch program …

N.J.A.C. 2:36-1.1 et seq. Child Nutrition Programs

See particularly:

N.J.A.C. 2:36-1.7 Local school nutrition policy

N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1(b) School safety plans

N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-16.5 Supplies and equipment

N.J.A.C. 6A:30-1.1 et seq. Evaluation of the Performance of School Districts

Sec. 204 at the Federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265)

42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq. Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act

42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq. Child Nutrition Act of 1966

7 CFR Part 210 and 220 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

7 C.F.R. Part 210 Medically authorized special needs diets

7 C.F.R. Part 210.10 Foods of minimum nutritional value

*5131 Conduct/discipline

9123 Appointment of board secretary

9124 Appointment of business official

*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.

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