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Youth Villages School Wellness Policy

Preamble:

Youth Villages’ value states “kid’s needs come first …….. always.” This value applies to the physical well being of the children in our care which includes providing youth with nutritional meals, a variety of physical activities during and after school hours as well as providing them with nutritional and physical education.

Youth Villages recognizes that children need healthy foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn and thrive. Youth Villages is committed to providing an environment that promotes children’s health, well-being and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.

Youth Villages “Wellness Committee” is comprised of staff from Education, Food Service, Nursing, Performance Improvement, Recreation, Residential and a Licensed Dietitian. This committee is responsible for developing, implementing monitoring and reviewing nutrition and physical activity practices for the youth in our care.

Opportunities for nutrition education are provided and promoted.

Opportunities for physical activity are provided and promoted as an ongoing component of the school week as well as outside the parameters of the school day.

Foods and beverages served meet the recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA requirements.

Youth Villages provides the youth in our care with a variety of nutritious and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of the children. Youth Villages provides a clean, safe and pleasant environment during meal times and provides adequate time for the youth to eat.

Youth Villages is an active participant in the USDA’s School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program.;

Component 1: Nutritional Education
Youth receive interactive nutritional education and are taught the life skills they need to develop healthy eating behaviors and proper table etiquette.

Youth Villages’ education curriculum standards and guidelines include nutritional education.

Nutrition Education (cont.)
A bulletin board in the cafeteria is dedicated to nutrition education and meals served consistently include fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and low fat dairy products.

Nutrition education is incorporated into Youth Villages’ school curriculum in the Health class and other classes as determined by need and individual education plans.

Food Service staff receive the appropriate training in “Food Safety” as required on an annual basis.

Component 2: Physical Activity
Youth in our residential programs will receive a total minimum of 45minutes of physical activity per day during and after school hours as well as on the weekends.

Youth participate in a variety of physical activities after school hours such as football, softball, basketball, swimming, therapeutic walks, campus
clean-up and special seasonal activities such as Winter Olympics and March Madness

They also have an ongoing opportunity to join “The Runner’s Club” which meets on a regular basis except during inclement weather.

Component 3: Nutrition Standards
Menus as well as special diets are prepared by Youth Villages’ Dietitian in conjunction with the physicians and nursing staff.

Youth Villages provides meals that are appealing and attractive and are
served in a clean and pleasant environment. The meals meet nutrition requirements established by the USDA and U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Fruits, vegetables and low fat milk are served on a daily basis. Grain and bread requirements are also provided.

Youth Villages does not provide or offer foods and beverages in “a la
carte” setting, vending machines, snack bars, school stores, fund raising
activities or concession stands.

Component 4: Other School-Based Activities
As previously stated Youth Villages provides the children in our care with a variety of nutritious and appealing foods that meet the health and nutritional needs of the children. We provide a clean, safe and pleasant environment during meal times and provide an adequate amount of time for youth to eat and enjoy their meal.

Youth Villages employs a “Wellness Coordinator” that provides Youth Villages staff with ongoing healthy habit tips. She coordinates “The Lose It” weight loss challenge providing encouragement, ideas and monitoring of staff on their progress during the competition. The Wellness Coordinator also provides ideas to promote movement and exercise activities during and after school for the youth.

Youth Villages strictly prohibits the use of food as a punishment.

Youth Villages will not deny a youth participation in recess or other physical activities as a form of discipline or punishment.

Youth Villages does not conduct school fund raising activities.

Youth participate in a variety of physical activities after school hours such as football, softball, basketball, swimming, therapeutic walks, and seasonal activities.

Youth Villages’ staff eat meals with the youth during meal times. Staff may select to eat the same meal as youth which encourages the youth to eat their meal as well.

Healthy snacks are provided for youth twice during the day. Snacks are provided after school prior to bedtime.

Youth Villages encourage staff to stay fit and healthy by providing them with the opportunity to join Weight Watchers at work as well as opportunities to apply for memberships to local health clubs and to participate in after hours athletics such as softball and basketball.