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The SHAPE California Approach

Shaping Health as Partners in Education (SHAPE)--Information about the network of schools that are developing and implementing collaborative, positive nutrition policies.

Implement Local School Wellness Policies

Nutrition plays a vital role in children's health and their ability to learn. School districts can improve students' overall access to healthy food choices. Their policies can shape nutrition education, child nutrition programs (CNP), and other food sales to support student health. The development of collaborative, positive, nutrition policies facilitate communication among students, parents, and all members of the school community.

Build and Maintain Partnerships

SHAPE California pioneers found that partnerships paid huge dividends. They "gave up" a little control but gained valuable ideas, input and support. All found a win-win attitude was their greatest asset. The main partners affecting students' ability to make healthy food choices include advisory groups, students, teachers, nurses, administrators, parents, and the community.

Provide Nutrition Education and Physical Activity Opportunities

Children can develop healthy habits for life through school cafeteria and classroom programs. Actively engaging students in learning to make healthy choices is the fastest way to teach new habits and build your program. Cafeteria practices and classroom lessons should reinforce each other. The key is to update teachers to facilitate their role in integrating nutrition education and physical activity into the educational day.

Offer Healthy Meals in Child Nutrition Programs

Improving child nutrition is the focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). Provisions of the HHFKA directed the USDA to make substantial changes to CNPs, aligning school meals with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, thus improving nutrition offerings in schools and strengthening the nation’s hunger safety net. The SHAPE California approach is designed to give you the information and tools you need to implement these changes and “shape” healthy food choices for students. This includes translating the New Meal Pattern requirements into easy-to-remember SHAPE California nutrition goals; evaluating your current menus and doing a self-assessment; and planning menus that consistently meet the nutrition standards.

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Questions: Education and Nutrition Policy Unit | enpu@cde.ca.gov | 800-952-5609 
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