PORT Group Homes (PORT) is committed to providing environments that promote and protect children's health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity. Therefore, the following policy goals are set forth. PORT, will:
to the extent possible while being sensitive to legal and privacy concerns, encourage the involvement of residents, parents, counselors, food service personnel, and other interested persons in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing PORT’s nutrition and physical activity policies.
provide an environment promotes and provides opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
serve food and beverages that meet the nutrition recommendations of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
provide residents with access to a variety of, nutritious, and appealing foods that meet the health and nutrition needs of students; accommodate the religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the residents in meal planning; and provide clean, safe, and pleasant settings and adequate time for residents to eat.
participate in available federal school meal programs (including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program).
continue to provide structured physical activities and work to develop nutrition education to help foster lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity.
TO ACHIEVE THESE POLICY GOALS:
I. Health Councils
PORT will create, strengthen, or work within existing health council to develop, implement, monitor, review, and, as necessary, revise school nutrition and physical activity policies. The council also will serve as resources to the group homes for implementing those policies.
II. Nutritional Quality of Foods and Beverages Served on Site
Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
be appealing and attractive to children;
be served in clean and pleasant settings;
meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by local, state, and federal statutes and regulations;
offer a variety of fruits and vegetables;
serve low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally-equivalent non-dairy alternatives.
PORT should engage residents and staff, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods served through the school meal programs in order to identify new, healthful, and appealing food choices.
PORT will operate the School Breakfast Program onsite or insure residents attending mainstream school are provided meals at no charge.
Meal Times and Scheduling.
PORT will provide students with at least 10 minutes to eat after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after sitting down for lunch;
PORT will schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.;
PORT should not schedule appointments, organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless residents may eat during such activities;
PORT will schedule lunch periods to follow physical activity periods;
PORT will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and
PORT should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).
Qualifications of School Food Service Staff.
Trained food service personnel will administer the school meal programs. As part of the PORT’s responsibility to operate a food service program, PORT will provide continuing professional development. Staff development programs include appropriate certification and/or training programs for food service personnel according to their levels of responsibility.
Sharing of Foods and Beverages.
PORT will discourage residents from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times.
Snacks served during the day or after-school should generally make a positive contribution to children's diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage.
PORT will not use foods or beverages, especially those that are of low or of minimal nutritional value, as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through school meals) as a punishment.
PORT should limit celebrations that involve food of minimal nutritional value to no more than one per week. Each party should include no more than one food or beverage that does not meet nutrition standards for foods and beverages.
PORT-sponsored Events (such as, but not limited to, athletic events, field trips, or camping ).
Foods and beverages served as meals at events outside the facility will meet the nutrition standards.
III. Nutrition and Physical Activity Promotion.
Nutrition Education and Promotion.
PORT Group Homes, encourages, and supports healthy eating by residents. Schools should provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:
includes enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as cultural nights and taste testing;
promotes fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods, and health-enhancing nutrition practices;
emphasizes caloric balance between food intake and energy expenditure (physical activity/exercise).;
integrates Physical Activity into the PORT Programming daily routine so residents receive the nationally-recommended amount of daily physical activity (i.e., at least 60 minutes per day).
Physical Activity and Punishment.
PORT staff will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.
V. Monitoring and Policy Review
· Quality Assurance employee or designee will ensure compliance with established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies. In each group home, the Program Manager or Quality Assurance designee will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her facility and will report on compliance to the Executive Director or Quality Assurance designee. Food Service staff will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within school food service areas and will report on this matter to the Program Manager or Quality Assurance designee.
PORT should conduct an assessment every three years to help review policy compliance, assess progress, and determine areas in need of improvement. As part of that review, PORT will review nutrition and physical activity policies; provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity; and nutrition and physical education policies and program elements. PORT will, as necessary, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.