Strategies and Action Steps

Intro to Nutritional Standards in Schools

Nutrition Education

Provide mandatory, evidence-based nutrition education to improve the health of children attending early child care centers through college.

  1. Enact legislation requiring evidence-based nutrition education.
  2. Identify and disseminate evidence-based nutrition instruction resources with a focus on hands-on, experiential learning (school gardens, etc.)
  3. Provide students a minimum of 20 hours of healthy food education/activities per year.
  4. Provide professional development opportunities for instructional staff in the content area of nutritional education.

School Meal Programs

Increase participation in federally-funded school meal programs.

  1. Develop a marketing plan targeting nonparticipating schools and early child care centers.
  2. Require federally-funded school meal programs to develop and implement an annual marketing plan in collaboration with district wellness committees.
  3. Provide training and professional development according to state and federal guidelines for child nutrition directors and food service staff, with a focus on quality.
  4. Require all school districts with a minimum of 3,000 students to employ a registered dietitian.

Access to Fresh Foods

Increase access to fresh, affordable, healthy foods.

  1. Increase access to locally-grown produce.
  2. Encourage schools to develop procurement policies for the purchase of fresh, locally-grown foods.
  3. Create a statewide farm-to-school coordinator position with permanent funding.

Team Objectives

Visit the Progress Tracker to learn about this Priority Area’s objectives.

The Team

The Nutritional Standards in Schools: Early Child Care through College priority is led by Elizabeth Butler, RD, and Patty Barker of the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. Their team features members from the following groups: Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas School Nutrition Association, and several child nutrition directors from schools across the state.

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