Resources

The Indiana Healthy Weight Initiative is working with schools to encourage healthy eating, active living, and overall good health.  This page contains resources to help create healthy schools.

Coordinated School Health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the coordinated school health framework as a strategy for improving students' healthfor planning and coordinating school health activities.  This framework centers around eight critical, interrelated components.

Resources

Coordinated School Health
The CDC's website offers guidance for establishing a coordinated approach to school health.

School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
CDC developed nine guidelines for promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools.

Preventing Childhood Obesity:  A School Health Policy Guide
This guide offers recommendations on how to promote physical education, physical activity, and healthy eating policies in schools.

In Indiana

64% of Indiana schools report having a Coordinated School Health Advisory Council.

Establishing coordinated school health in your school corporation?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Department of Education
Indiana School Health Network
Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
Welborn Baptist Foundation

 

 

School Wellness Policies

Local School Wellness Policies are designed to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity.  Each local education agency that participates in the National School Lunch Program or other child nutrition programs is required by federal law to establish a local School Wellness Policy for all schools under its jurisdiction.

Resources

Indiana's Model School Wellness Policy
School health partners throughout Indiana came together to develop a model School Wellness Policy for the state that includes the best practices in school nutrition and physical activity.  The model policy is a template and should be tailored based on the goals and opportunities within the school corporation.

CDC School Wellness Policy
The CDC provides tools and resources for developing and implementing School Wellness Policies.

School District Wellness Policies:  Evaluating Progress and Potential for Improving Children's Health Three Years after the Federal Mandate
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides updated results from the most comprehensive analysis of written School Wellness Policies, including major findings, trends, and opportunities for improvement.

USDA Local Wellness Policy
The United States Department of Agriculture shares materials local education agencies can use to build on their existing School Wellness Policy.
 

In Indiana


64 school corporations have had their School Wellness Policies evaluated for strength and comprehensiveness after receiving specific suggestions for improvement from the Indiana State Department of Health.  You can be one of them, too!  Just email your School Wellness Policy to Juliana Piercefield at jpiercefield@isdh.in.gov.

The Comprehensive Health Issues Committee (CHICs) of Monroe County Community School Corporation surveyed parents and staff regarding nutrition and physical activity in schools.  CHICs is using this information to update their School Wellness Policy and to make other improvements throughout their corporation.  View the results here!

Interested in strengthening your School Wellness Policy?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Department of Education
Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
Marion County Health Department

 

 

Measuring Body Mass Indexes in Schools

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a child's weight and height.  BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness for most children and teens.

Resources

Children's BMI Tool for Schools
The CDC provides a simple, easy-to-use tool for collecting and analyzing the heights and weights of students.

Weighing and Measuring in Schools:  Guidance and Recommendations for Schools 2008
The Wisconsin Nutrition and Physical Activity Program's guide helps schools be better informed when weighing and measuring students.

In Indiana

23 school corporations measure the heights and weights of students in at least one grade. 

Need assistance collecting student BMIs?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity
Ruth Lilly Health Education Center

 

 

30 Minutes of Physical Activity during the School Day

According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for American, children should engage in at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.  Because children spend about half of their day at school, the Institute of Medicine recommends that children engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity during the school day.

Resources

Schools Can Play a Role in Preventing Childhood Obesity
The Institute of Medicine shares recommendations on improving nutrition and increasing physical activity in schools, including providing elementary students with 30 minutes of physical activity daily.

The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education and Academic Performance
The CDC reports on the link between physical activity and academic performance.

In Indiana

14 school corporations have a School Wellness Policy stating elementary students will receive 30 minutes of physical activity per day.

Looking to get more physical activity into the school day?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

 

 

Walking and Bicycling to School

Safe Routes to School is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to bicycle and walk to and from school. The program has been designed to reverse the decline in children walking and bicycling to school. Safe Routes to School can also play a critical role in reversing the alarming nationwide trend toward childhood obesity and inactivity.

Resources

Indiana Walk to School Day Promotional Materials
Download a letter of support for Walk to School Day and share it with school administrators.

International Walk to School Day
Every year, the first Wednesday in October is International Walk to School Day.  Click on this website to receive tips and to register your event.

National Center for Safe Routes to School
This national site provides a comprehensive online reference manual designed to support the development of Safe Routes to School programs.

Safe Routes to School National Partnership
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a network of more than 500 nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, and professionals working together to advance the Safe Routes to School movement in the United States.

Travel and Environmental Implications of School Siting
This report by the United States Environmental Protection Agency explains the relationship between school location, the built environment around schools, mode choices for trips to school, and air emissions on the health of children.

In Indiana

34 communities have registered a Walk to School Day event from 2010-2012.

Want to encourage more children to walk or bicycle to school?  These Indiana partners can help.

Health by Design
Indiana Department of Transportation, Safe Routes to School Program
Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

 

 

Joint-Use Agreements

A joint-use agreement is a formal agreement between two separate entities - often a school and a city, county, or local organization - outlining the terms and conditions for shared use of public property or facilities.

Resources

Opening School Grounds to the Community after Hours
Developed by Public Health Law and Policy, this toolkit is a resource for increasing physical activity through joint-use agreements.

Interested in sharing school physical activity facilities with the community?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

 

 

Farm to School

Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias; improve student nutrition; provide agriculture, health, and nutrition education opportunities; and support local and regional farmers.

Resources

Farm to School
This national site provides information about the Farm to School movement.

Interested in having a Farm to School program at your school?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Department of Education
Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

 

 

Healthy Foods and Beverages

The school environment is one of several settings that can influence children's food choices and eating habits.  By ensuring food and beverage options are consistent with an overall healthy diet, schools can model healthy eating behaviors.

Resources

Healthy School Food:  A Booklet for Students, Parents, and Schools
Alimentos Saludables en Las Escuelas:  Un folleto para los estudiantes, los padres de familia y las escuelas
Developed by the School Food Workgroup of the Elkhart County Childhood Obesity Initiative, this document provides information on improving the nutrition environment in schools.

Recommended Nutrition Standards for Foods Outside of School Meal Programs
The CDC's fact sheet answers commonly asked questions regarding the Institute of Medicine's report, Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools.

In Indiana

53% of Indiana schools do not sell soda or non-100% fruit juice to studens from vending machines or school stores.
29% of Indiana schools do not sell less healthy food and drink options from vending machines or school stores.

Want to offer healthier foods and beverages in your school? These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Department of Education
Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

 

 

School Meal Programs

The National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs make it possible for all school children to receive nutritious meals.

Resources

Breakfast in the Classroom
Breakfast in the classroom has emerged as the most effective strategy to get school breakfasts to the large number of students who need it.

School Breakfast and Lunch
The Food Research and Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the United States.

Start School with Breakfast:  A Guide to Increasing School Breakfast Participation
This guide helps schools ensure children aren't missing out on the most important meal of the day.

USDA School Meals
The United States Department of Agriculture oversees the administration of school meal programs.

Looking to enhance your school meal program?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Department of Education

 

 

Summer Food Service Program

The summer food programs fill the gap when Indiana's low-income children lose access to the school breakfasts, lunches, and after-school snacks they receive during the regular school year.

Resources

Summer Nutrition Programs
The Food Research and Action Center provides information on summer nutrition programs throughout the United States.

USDA Summer Food Service Program
The United States Department of Agriculture oversees the administration of the summer food service program.

Want your school to offer the summer food service program?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Department of Education

 

 

Assessment and Recognition

Conducting a school assessment is a first step in developing and implementing a plan to improve school health.  A school assessment identifies strengths and areas for improvement within a school.  By building on strengths and addressing areas needing improvement, many schools begin to qualify for and win state and national awards and recognition.

Resources

HealthierUS School Challenge
The HealthierUS School Challenge is a voluntary initiative to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments by promoting nutrition and physical activity.

Healthy School Report Card
The Healthy School Report Card guides school corporations as they assess the school environment and provides a report that identifies strengths and areas for improvement.

Indiana Action for Healthy Kids Healthy Hoosier School Award
The Healthy Hoosier School Award honors Indiana schools that have policies and educational programs in place to promote proper nutrition and increased physical activity among their students.

School Health Index
The School Health Index is a self-assessment and planning tool schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs.

WellSAT
WellSAT provides a standard method for measuring the strength and comprehensiveness of School Wellness Policies.

In Indiana

More Indiana schools report having conducted an assessment of their school's policies, activities, and programs related to nutrition or physical activity.

Interested in conducting a school assessment or completing an award application?  These Indiana partners can help.

Indiana Action for Healthy Kids
Indiana Department of Education
Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity


 

 

National


Childhood Overweight and Obesity
This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site provides information and national data on childhood obesity.

Let's Move!
Let's Move! is a national campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.

School Employee Wellness:  A Guide to Protecting the Assets of our Nation’s Schools
This site provides information, practical tools, and resources for school employee wellness programs.

Strategic Alliance ENACT School Strategies
ENACT provides a menu of strategies designed to help improve nutrition and activity environments in school settings.

Strategic Alliance ENACT After-School Strategies
ENACT provides a menu of strategies designed to help improve nutrition and activity environments in after-school settings.