Nutrition for Academic and Athletic Success
The Board, as the recognized food and nutrition services authority for the school district, shall annually approve a free and reduced price meal program. It is the Board's expectation that the teachers shall support the food service program in every respect and encourage children to eat a well-balanced meal each day. Teachers should use the cafeteria as a laboratory to teach good nutrition and etiquette to students. Teachers are strongly encouraged to eat in the school cafeteria with their students. Any concerns regarding the local school breakfast or lunch program should be reported to the school principal.
The Superintendent and his designated representatives shall be responsible for operating an economically sound child nutrition program in accordance with state and federal laws and regulations. The Superintendent shall recommend for appointment the necessary personnel to initiate and maintain a quality child nutrition program. The accounting, financial planning, and reporting functions of the program shall be coordinated within the central office.
All sanitation standards required by law shall be strictly observed in each local schools child nutrition program. This shall include, but not limited to, physical examination requirements of employees, preparation procedures, conditions of kitchens and dining areas and maintenance procedures. The CNP Coordinator and School Principal will share responsibility for the operation and supervision of the school child nutrition program.
Nutrition and Wellness
The Shelby County Board of Education is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Through the Local School Health Councils, the school system will engage students, parents, teachers, food service professionals, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing district-wide nutrition and physical activity policies. All students will have opportunities to be physically active on a regular basis during the school day and beyond.
Schools will participate in available school meal programs, including the National School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, and the Summer Food Service Program. Child nutrition professionals will provide students with access to a variety of affordable, nutritious, and appealing foods; will accommodate the ethnic and cultural diversity of the student body in meal planning; and will provide a clean, safe, and pleasant dining experience. All foods and beverages sold or served at school during the instructional day will meet or exceed the nutrition recommendations identified by USDA and the State of Alabama Board of Education.
The Instructional Services Department in conjunction with the Child Nutrition Program will provide nutrition education and physical education to foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity. All students will be encouraged to follow the United States Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Both departments will establish links between health education and meal programs within the school and community. The Shelby County Board of Education will proactively comply with all federal and state nutrition and physical activity regulations.
Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Academic Achievement
Several studies have demonstrated that good nutritional status has a positive and direct impact on academic achievement. When children's basic nutritional and fitness needs are met, they have the brain power to learn and achieve. Schools continue to be a core place for students to learn and practice healthy habits.
- Inadequate nutrition impacts children's behavior, their school performance, and their ability to concentrate.
- When children skip or miss meals their brain function decreases.
- Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent nutritional problems of children in the United States. Iron deficiency can cause increased tiredness, shortened attention span, decreased work capacity, and increased illness. Unfortunately, children with an iron deficiency tend to do poorly on vocabulary, reading, and other tests.
Studies also show a connection between physical activity and increased levels of alertness and learning. Schools with physical activity programs see improved academics (especially in mathematics, reading, and writing scores).
What athletes eat everyday can affect their performance. What they eat right before an event can be critical. Wrong choices can be disastrous. Right choices can give them the competitive edge. It is crucial for athletes to know the right foods to eat at the right time.
- Eat the meal at least 3 hours before the event.
- Eat a meal that is high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are easy to digest and will help regulate blood sugars during competition.
- Eat a meal moderately low in protein. Proteins are harder to digest and can cause urinary production, which could lead to dehydration.
- Restrict fats, oils, sugary foods, and drinks with caffeine.
- Drink plenty of water, at least 2 cups.
- Consume foods and beverages high in carbohydrates as soon as possible after competition. These will get the athlete back in performance shape more quickly.
- Replace fluids that have been lost. For every pound lost, drink 2 cups of fluid.
- Replace potassium or sodium that may have been lost. Sports drinks are only necessary if more than 90 minutes of consecutive athletic competition has been performed. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of potassium. Replace sodium by eating salty foods.