Dear Parent or Guardian,
In an effort to improve child obesity rates and promote healthy living, federal guidelines were enacted to provide all public school students with a nutritionally balanced diet while attending school. Improving child nutrition was the focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act signed into law by President Obama in 2010. This summer the final implementation of the federal nutrition guidelines went into effect. The meal programs the district serves changed several years ago. This year any food provided for students outside of the meal programs must also meet federal nutrition guidelines. There are no changes for your family if you pack your child’s lunch or snacks. The changes do affect classroom celebrations, parties, and snack time. As required by law, the district is publishing a list of nutritional snacks that can be used for classroom celebrations.
The overall wellness program for the District encompasses the whole-child. The District Wellness Committee is committed to promote student health, reduce student obesity, facilitate student learning of lifelong healthy habits, and increase student achievement. The Wellness Program meets federal and state regulations. The Wellness Committee meetings are open to the public and meets regularly throughout the school year. Dates will be posted in the Ozark Tiger E-News and on the District website.
Changes can be summarized by the following points:
- For classroom parties, there should be a 1:3 ratio of healthy items and non-nutritional items. For instance, if you have a sugar cookie for each child, then there has to be 3 nutritional items (i.e., carrots, apple sauce, 100% juice). Classroom teachers will provide more information around the time of the party.
- For classroom snacks provided by a rotation of parents (some K & 1st grade classes do this), snacks should fit the criteria for healthy snacks. See the list below.
- For individual student celebrations (like birthdays), students may bring an item off of the non-nutritional list; however, the item MUST FIT the guidelines in regard to calories, grams of fat, and grams of sugar.
- This does not change what individual parents can pack for their students for individual consumption at lunch or snack time.
Please use the following two lists to help you when determining the type of snack that you want to provide for classroom celebrations. You may go to the District’s webpage for further information regarding student wellness. Thank you for your patience during this transition. As always, it is a great day to be a Tiger!
Ozark Wellness Committee:
Craig Carson, Assistant Superintendent
Jared Lotz, Ozark Middle School
Shawn Widel, High School