San Francisco, CA Unified School District Wellness Policy

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San Francisco, CA, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Last updated on 6/27/07

Source File:


San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)
SFUSD Wellness Policy

SFUSD promotes the Wellness of the whole child. The SFUSD Wellness Policy applies to all schools K-12 and to the Child Development Program.

The SFUSD Wellness Policy was created by the SFUSD Student Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee, to address the Board of Education Resolution No. 211-12A8 (Healthy School Nutrition and Physical Exercise Policy for San Francisco Unified School District, January 14, 2003) and the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265, June 30, 2004). This committee is composed of parents, staff, students, nutritionists, and healthcare professionals. Its Wellness Subcommittee will provide ongoing monitoring of the Wellness Policy.

1. Increase the return of the Meal Eligibility Application

a) School Principals will make participation and return of applications a high priority for their site. Suggestions for how to accomplish this can be accessed at Individual school sites may provide rewards/incentives for application return.
b) Student Nutrition Services (SNS) will implement an automated meal application scanning system which will allow families with multiple students to submit one application for the whole family. SNS will use Direct Certification for households receiving food stamps. Migrant, homeless, and runaway students will be categorically eligible for free meals. SNS will comply with all requirements for verification of qualification for free and reduced price meals.

Who will take point/lead on this strategy?
School Operations and Instructional Support Office and Student Nutrition Services

2. The SFUSD Nutrition Standards

a) The Food Minimal Nutrition Value (FMNV) is the Federal Nutrition Standard. SFUSD is recommending a more rigid standard to be phased in for school year 2003-2004.
The FMNV: Elimination of foods at or below Food Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV) as defined by the USDA. “Foods of minimal nutritional value” means (i) in the case of artificially sweetened foods, a food which provides less than five percent of the Reference Daily Intakes (RDI) for each of eight specified nutrients per serving; and (ii) in case of all other foods, a food which provides less than five percent of the RDI for each of eight specified nutrients per 100 calories and less than five percent of the RDI for each of eight specified nutrients per serving. The eight nutrients to be assessed for this purpose are protein, vitamins A, C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium and iron.
b) SFUSD Nutrition Standards
Plain or carbonated; no added sweeteners (natural or artificial, including sucralose and aspartame); no added vitamins, caffeine, or herbal supplements; may be any size.
100% fruit juice, plain or carbonated; no added sweeteners (natural or artificial); no caffeine or herbal supplements; maximum size 12 oz.
Juice/Water blends
No added sweeteners (natural or artificial); no caffeine or herbal supplements; maximum size 12 oz.
1% or fat free (skim) milk; enriched rice, nut or soy milk (may be “lowfat”); flavored milk may contain no more than 40 grams of sugar total per 12 oz. (27 grams of sugar total per 8 oz.), including both naturally-occurring and added sweetener; no Bovine Growth Hormone; maximum size 12 oz. Rice, soy or nut milks must be enriched with calcium to at least 30% of the RDA per 8 oz. serving, or 40% of the RDA per 11 oz. serving; maximum size 12 oz.

For the list of approved beverages, see


1. Have 30 percent or less of its total calories from fat (excluding seeds, nuts, and eggs).

2. Have 10 percent or less of its total calories from saturated plus trans fat (excluding eggs).

3. Have no more than 35% total sugar by weight.

4. Snack foods and side dishes must meet United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standard for minimal nutritional value; specifically, must contain no less than 5% of all of the following 8 nutrients: protein, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and iron (excluding fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts).

5. Be limited to the following maximum portion sizes:

a. One and one-quarter ounces for chips, crackers, popcorn, cereal, or jerky;
b. Two and one-half ounces for trail mix, nuts, seeds, or dried fruits;
c. Two ounces for cookies or cereal bars;
d. Three ounces for bakery items;
e. Three fluid ounces for frozen desserts, including, but not limited to, ice cream;
f. Eight ounces for non-frozen yogurt;
g. Twelve ounces for beverages, excluding water.

6. Fruits and vegetables shall be offered for sale at the school site where foods are sold. Non-dairy vegetarian meals shall be included in the weekly vegetarian menu.

7. Food shall be minimally processed, using whole meat whenever possible, whole grains or converted grains that retain most of their whole grain nutrients, minimal dyes, sodium and added sweeteners. No artificial sweeteners (includes aspartame and sucralose) may be used. Cooking methods shall retain the maximum nutrients possible.

8. Preference will be given to products that contain no trans fat. In school year 2004-2005, to the maximum extent practicable, there should be no added trans fatty acids/partially hydrogenated oils in any meal component. As of school year 2005-2006, there shall be no added trans fatty acids/partially hydrogenated oils in any meal component. Processed vegetable oils with high omega-6 fats should be used as minimally as possible.

9. Preference will be given to products grown, processed, and/or packaged in California and to products which are certified organic.

10. No products containing peanuts or peanut residue may be sold or offered in the school meal program. Vending machines stocked with peanut products will carry a warning label on the machine or on the wall immediately adjacent to the machine.

11. Exceptions to these guidelines may be made for individual products, which have sufficient nutritional value to offset sugar or fat content, or other requirements, or to prohibit the sale of individual products which are deemed inappropriate for sale to students despite meeting these guidelines. Nutritional information, along with actual samples of the product in question (when possible) shall be provided to Student Nutrition Services for approval before products are placed in schools.

Who will take point/lead on this strategy?
Student Nutrition Services

3. Improved Menu Choices

a) Student Nutrition Services will improve menu choices by increasing foods that students like, based upon feedback from students and student advisory groups, by 40% and conduct research for working towards 100%, contingent on budget implications (e.g., chicken teriyaki over noodles, rice dishes and vegetables).
b) Increase the incorporation of fresh foods (fruits and vegetables).
c) Student Nutrition Services will minimize processed foods, select California grown produce and explore the feasibility of implementation of salad bars.
d) The Student Advisory Council (SAC) will be involved in the selection of new food choices in meals served by Student Nutrition Services and choices of qualified products in vending machines. The Student Advisory Council will involve student councils and leadership groups to ensure that representative cross section of SFUSD students are involved.

Who will take point/lead on this strategy?
Student Nutrition Services and Student Advisory Council

4. Nutrition Education

a) School Health Programs Department (SHPD) Network for a Healthy California will provide nutrition education on an annual basis to the staff of Student Nutrition Services to increase their awareness of current programs/education and best practices being implemented/adopted within SFUSD and the state, including the continued implementation of funded projects within SFUSD (e.g., the California Nutrition Network Project).
b) School Health Programs Department will work with the School Operations and Instructional Support Office (SOIS) to integrate nutrition education into the comprehensive education programs. School Health Programs Department will provide examples of content integration related to nutrition education to increase the incorporation of nutrition education into the regular teaching plan. (Examples will be graphing fruit and vegetable intake, categorizing quantities, reading labels, etc.) Annual professional development in nutrition education is provided to teachers at all levels, and to After School Program staff.
c) Site administrators and staff will promote a school environment which is supportive of Board Resolution 211-12A8. Staffs are encouraged to model healthy eating by offering healthier choices at school meetings and events, and to refrain from using candy and snacks of minimal nutritional value as rewards to students. Administrators/staff are encouraged to implement the District wide Health Awareness Months on an annual basis using resources and materials supplied by School Health Programs Department.

Who will take point/lead on this strategy?
School Health Programs Department, Student Nutrition Services, and School Operations and Instructional Support Office

5. Vending Machines

a) Vending machines within SFUSD school sites will comply with the nutritional standards recommended by the Student Nutrition and Physical Fitness Committee immediately (pending contract obligations).
b) All vending machines will be stocked with products that meet the requirements (an approved list will be provided to school site administrators and vending machine contractors, and is available online at: All machines vending beverages in bottles must have at least one slot offering plain bottled water.
c) Schools serving students in Pre-K/Child Development Centers, K-5s, and K-8s may not keep vending machines in areas accessible to students.
d) School site administrators will monitor vending machines to ensure compliance with the requirements.
e) Explore the feasibility of putting all District vending under contract with one vendor to obtain the most favorable financial return and ensure compliance with the nutrition standards. As contracts come up for renewal, new contracts should only be made on a month to month basis.

Who will take point/lead on this strategy?
Student Nutrition Services, School Operations and Instructional Support Office, Legal Office, and Chief Business Office

6. Develop Pilot Programs to Increase Participation

a) Make available a model for profit sharing for middle and high schools.
b) Develop a Grab ‘n Go pilot to increase participation in the school breakfast program.
c) Develop/implement a Point of Sales (POS) pilot program with a goal of full implementation within the district by 2009.
d) Develop other pilot programs as appropriate.

Who will take point/lead on this strategy?
Student Nutrition Services and School Operations and Instructional Support Office

7. Food Sales

a) Fall Semester 2003: Increase the awareness of California Code of Regulations governing the sales of food on campus to the School Operations and Instructional Support Office, and site-level administrators:
15500 Food Sales in Elementary Schools
15501 Sales in High Schools and Junior High Schools
Sites will be responsible for adherence to Title V of Regulations (Codes 15500, 15501) including the
restriction of the number of food sales by student organizations to four per school year.
b) January 2004: The sale of any type of candy and foods of minimal nutritional value, as recommended by the Student Nutrition and Physical Fitness Advisory Committee, will be restricted on all school campuses beginning January 2004.
1. Food sold must meet the nutrition standards spelled out in Section 2, ‘The SFUSD Nutrition Standards,’ except as detailed in section c) “Food fundraising sales” (below).
a. Beginning Fall 2003: School Site Councils will identify food/beverages that meet the SFUSD minimum nutrition requirements that their site will sell.
b. The sale of any type of candy, food and beverages below SFUSD Nutrition Standards will be prohibited on all school campuses during the school day beginning Spring Semester January 2004.
c. Food sales
i) Student-run fundraising food sales during the school day are limited to 4 days total per year, per California Code (15500, 15501) of Regulation. Food sold may be prepared at home or brought in from a restaurant; beverages and snack items must meet District nutrition standards (this means no soda, chips, candy, etc.). See list of District-approved products for vending at:
Students may sell food after school hours provided the sale meets the conditions set forth in the California Code of Regulation referenced above. Food and beverages sold must be from the District-approved list; only one student group may sell per day; no more than three types of items may be sold (e.g., beverages, snacks, fresh fruit). An administrator must take responsibility for scheduling and supervising such sales, and for ensuring that every student group that wants to sell has an equal opportunity to do so. All such sales are at the discretion of the Principal.
ii) Parents or school staff may not sell food during the school day; however, sales may be held before school starts or after the end of the school day, so as not to compete with the School Lunch Program. See list of District-approved products for vending at:
iii) Healthy food choices are recommended for all parent-run food sales. In Child Development Centers, elementary and middle school, sales by parents of food which does not meet District nutrition standards are limited to 10 times per school year, and must take place after 5:00 PM weekdays or anytime on a weekend or school holiday. The 10-times per-school-year rule includes all parent groups (i.e., there are only 10 sales, but any number of groups may sell on each sale day). Food for these 10 sale days may be homemade, come from restaurants, or catering trucks, and the beverages and snacks sold do NOT have to meet District nutrition standards. In high schools an unlimited number of sales by parents of food which does not meet District nutrition standards may be held at school events including sports and performances, but must take place after 4:00 PM weekdays or anytime on weekends or school holidays.
iv) Sale of food at events which are not school-related (e.g., an outside agency rents the school property and holds an event featuring a food sale) are not subject to District nutrition policy.
v) Sales of candy or other food outside of school as a fundraiser, such as catalog order sales, are at the discretion of the Principal. All other sale of candy at school is prohibited, except as outlined in sections iii and iv. However, healthy food choices or non-food based fundraising are highly recommended.
c) School Operations and Instructional Support Office will increase their capacity to offer technical assistance and monitoring to assist sites in coming into compliance by January 2004.
d) The Student Advisory Council (SAC), composed of high school students, will identify/develop/enhance the list of non-food based fundraising ideas to be distributed to schools by January 2004. The SAC will assume the leadership role and involve middle and elementary school students.
e) Schools shall not invite outside vendors, such as catering trucks or ice cream carts, to sell any kind of food or drinks to students within 1500 feet of the perimeter of the school. Principals will notify the offices of their supervisors (e.g., School Operations and Instructional Support), who will in turn take steps to remove such vendors who show up uninvited, including contacting the local police station to ask that the approved route for the catering truck not be within 1500 feet of the perimeter of the school. Schools will not enter into profit-sharing or other business arrangements with such vendors, or with any off-site businesses selling food in direct competition with the school cafeteria.

Who will take point/lead on this strategy?
Site Administrators, School Operations and Instructional Support Office, Student Advisory Council, and Student Nutrition Services

8. Classroom Food/Parties/Celebrations

a) Food and drink provided to students by teachers, students, parents, or other staff on school property shall meet the SFUSD nutrition standard as specified in section 2b. This includes food and drink provided for birthdays, holiday celebrations, cooking projects, special days, rewards, treats, goodie bags, and academic activity (such as using snacks to learn math concepts). Examples of snacks and treats that meet the Wellness Policy nutrition standard may be found at

A list of beverages which meet the nutrition standard may be found at

(Note: The rest of this policy deals with aspects of increased physical activity for students and wellness policy for staff.)

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