Walla Walla Public Schools

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Nutrition and Fitness Policy


Overview Statement

boywithappleWalla Walla Public Schools is now in compliance with new state requirements regarding Nutrition and Physical Fitness. The district used support from the community, staff, students, parents and administrators to develop procedures to meet the requirements of the district’s new Nutrition and Physical Fitness policy. The new procedures will be implemented at the start of the 2006-2007 school year. A School Health Advisory Committee (see list of committee members below) was established to help monitor progress and assess the effectiveness of the new Nutrition and Physical Fitness policy.

Changes implemented in the areas of Nutrition and Physical Fitness are good for students and their learning. The district is committed to educating students about making healthy food choices and the importance of fitness. The district has eliminated Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value from the school setting during school hours. Staff will receive training to ensure policy/procedures are being carried out in all district schools. The district will continue evaluating the new procedures to ensure they are meeting the requirements of the policy.

District Contact

Pam Milleson, Nutrition Services Director
1174 Entley Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362 
(509) 527-3016 (office)
(509) 527-3036 (fax)
E-mail: pmilleson@wwps.org

School Healthy Advisory Committee Members

  • Pamela Milleson (Chair)
  • Pam Nichols
  • Jennifer Douglas
  • Diane Benfield
  • Mick Miller
  • Jill Parcells
  • Beth Thiel
  • Veronica Esparza
  • Jim Russo
  • Ian Gregoire
  • Lounny Hastings

Policy & Procedures

Did You Know? Healthy Choice Tips

Background Information

  • Federal Child Nutrition and Women Infants & Children (WIC) Reauthorization Act passed by Congress in 2004 requires all schools participating in the National School Lunch Program to enact a local school wellness policy by July 1, 2006.
  • In March 2004, the Washington State legislature passed a bill which recognized the severe health problems associated with overweight and obese children in Washington state, the detrimental effects this compromised health has on student academic achievement, and the logical role of the schools in addressing this issue in children and adolescents.
  • The Washington State Legislation required all public school districts to establish a policy regarding access to nutritious foods and physical activity in the school environment by August 1, 2005.
  • Walla Public Schools Board of Directors in July 2005 approved a New Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy (No. 6700) to set a direction in place to address childhood obesity and the detrimental effects it has on student achievement. This action met the state’s new requirement.
  • The district, by adopting this policy, is committed to ensuring healthy food choices are available when food is available on district property or sponsored events
  • Walla Walla Public Schools formed a broad-based task force last school year (2005-2006) consisting of district administrators and teachers, health care professionals, parents, students, and other community leaders to help the district establish procedures for implementation.
  • The Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy/Procedure takes effect at the start of the 2006-2007 school year.
  • These procedures serve as the roadmap for developing and implementing a comprehensive nutrition, fitness and health curriculum for K-12. The district, through these procedures, has developed nutrition standards which will guide the sale and serving of foods and beverages on school district premises.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the new Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy?
A: The Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy (6700) was adopted by the Walla Walla School Board on July 19, 2005 and the procedure to implement the policy was approved in January 2006.

The procedure sets nutrition standards for foods and drinks available at the Walla Walla Public Schools, directs healthy vending options in middle and high schools, guides health and fitness education to meet state curriculum requirements, and encourages alternatives to food for fundraising and rewarding students.

Q: Why did the district adopt a Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy?
A: The creation of a Nutrition and Physical Fitness Policy came in response to a bill passed by the Washington state legislature in March 2004 requiring all school districts to develop policies to address access to nutritious foods and opportunities for physical activity by August, 2005. In addition, the federal Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act passed by Congress in 2004 requires all schools participating in the federal school meal program to enact a school wellness policy by August 2006.

The district convened a task force of teachers, administrators, board members, parents, and health care professionals to craft the current policy and procedure following a careful review of the published public health and nutrition literature and best practices of other school districts in Washington and other states.

Q: Will there be changes in the foods served in the school breakfast and lunch programs?
A: Walla Walla Public Schools, as a participant in the national school lunch and breakfast program, must continue to meet the federal food and nutrition service regulations of the USDA. In addition to these regulations about calories, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, Walla Walla schools will strive to provide and promote whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables daily.

Q: What about foods sold a la carte, in vending machines, and in school stores?
A: Foods sold outside of the school meals program, including a la carte, in vending, in school stores, and for fundraising during the school day must meet the nutritional standards for calories, fat, and sugar content contained in the new procedure. These nutrition standards were derived from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by the US Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture.

Q: Can I still bring birthday or holiday celebration treats for my child's class?
A: Yes, but the new policy and procedure encourage families and teachers to find alternatives to food for these types of celebrations with students. Although celebrations with food have important cultural significance, childhood diabetes, obesity and life-threatening food allergies pose increasing public health concerns. Where food and beverages are desirable, nutritious food and beverage choices should be made available. Families and staff members are encouraged to use pre-packaged, store-bought foods that meet the new nutritional standards.

Q: Can we have bake sales or other fundraising events during the school day?
A: Foods sold for fundraising need to meet the nutritional standards if they are sold during the school day, defined as the time from 30 minutes before the first class period until 30 minutes after the final period. Food items may not be sold as a fundraising activity at a time that is in competition with district Nutrition Services mealtimes.

Q: Why are teachers, clubs, teams, and PTA/PTSA being encouraged to find alternatives to food as rewards in the classroom and fundraisers conducted after the school day?
A: Encouraging rewards and fundraisers which use non-food items or nutritious foods serves to promote healthy eating and fitness habits and put the classroom nutrition and fitness curriculum into practice.

Q: How will the new nutrition standards affect vending revenue?
A: Under the new policy, soda pop, candy, and foods identified as having minimal nutritional value will be excluded from vending machines accessible to middle and high school students. However, vendors can supply a wide range of food and beverage items which meet the new nutrition standards at similar pricing. Middle and high school students will participate in identifying healthy vending options that will be appealing to students.

Q: How will physical fitness be promoted?
A: The policy emphasizes the interrelationship between physical activity, good nutrition, and health. Daily physical activity, including instructional time in physical education, active play at recess, and co-curricular physical fitness activities will be supported. In addition, walking and biking to school and access to district fitness and play facilities will be promoted.

Q: How can healthy food choices be promoted at schools?
A: Schools may choose to support school gardens or food tasting fairs which give students an opportunity to prepare, serve, and taste a wide variety of whole foods, including fruits and vegetables and identify new, healthy and appealing food choices.

Q. Do the new Nutrition standards apply to extra-curricular events?
A. No. These new nutrition standards do not apply outside of the school day. However, the district is making efforts to ensure healthy choices are offered for purchase. This gives consumers a choice when purchasing food products.

Q: How can parents be involved?
A: Parents and other family members can encourage their children to make healthy food choices at home. And they can make sure that their children get sufficient physical activity during non-school hours. On results of the most recent Healthy Youth Survey (given in 2004), 38% of district 8th graders reported having one or less days of moderate physical activity per week; 60% of 10th graders reported having two or fewer servings of fruit or vegetables per day; 40% of 12th graders reported having one or less days of moderate physical activity per week; and 65% of those same high school seniors reported having two or less servings of fruit and vegetables per day.

Q: Where can I find a copy of the District's Nutrition and Physical Fitness policy and procedure?
A: Copies of both documents are available here.

Q: What if I have additional questions?
A: Please e-mail them to wellness@wwps.org and you will receive a timely response.
Thank you!

USDA Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value

Foods of minimal nutritional value are:

  1. Soda Water (i.e. pop): A class of beverages made by absorbing carbon dioxide in potable water. The amount of carbon dioxide used is not less than that which will be absorbed by the beverage at a pressure of one atmosphere and at a temperature of 60 deg. F. It either contains no alcohol or only such alcohol, not in excess of 0.5 percent by weight of the finished beverage, as is contributed by the flavoring ingredient used. No product shall be excluded from this definition because it contains artificial sweeteners or discrete nutrients added to the food such as vitamins, minerals and protein.
  2. Water Ices: As defined by 21 CFR 135.160 Food and Drug Administration Regulations except that water ices which contain fruit or fruit juices are not included in this definition.
  3. Chewing Gum: Flavored products from natural or synthetic gums and other ingredients which form an insoluble mass for chewing.
  4. Certain Candies: Processed foods made predominantly from sweeteners or artificial sweeteners with a variety of minor ingredients which characterize the following types:
    1. Hard Candy: A product made predominantly from sugar (sucrose) and corn syrup which may be flavored and colored, is characterized by a hard, brittle texture, and includes such items as sour balls, fruit balls, candy sticks, lollipops, starlight mints, after dinner mints, sugar wafers, rock candy, cinnamon candies, breath mints, jaw breakers and cough drops.
    2. Jellies and Gums: A mixture of carbohydrates which are combined to form a stable gelatinous system of jelly-like character, and are generally flavored and colored, and include gum drops, jelly beans, jellied and fruit-flavored slices.
    3. Marshmallow Candies: An aerated confection composed as sugar, corn syrup, invert sugar, 20 percent water and gelatin or egg white to which flavors and colors may be added.
    4. Fondant: A product consisting of microscopic-sized sugar crystals which are separated by thin film of sugar and/or invert sugar in solution such as candy corn, soft mints.
    5. Licorice: A product made predominantly from sugar and corn syrup which is flavored with an extract made from the licorice root.
    6. Spun Candy: A product that is made from sugar that has been boiled at high temperature and spun at a high speed in a special machine.
    7. Candy Coated Popcorn: Popcorn which is coated with a mixture made predominantly from sugar and corn syrup.

Source: USDA

Background information regarding Childhood Obesity


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