August 21, 2012
Concord, NH – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, Obesity Prevention Program released “School Foods: A Guide to Implementing the New Hampshire Administrative Rules for Education Regarding Food and Nutrition.” The guide is a toolkit designed to help schools implement the administrative rules, which impact all foods made available in New Hampshire public schools outside of the regular U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) school meals and snack programs.
All foods made available in public schools during school hours are impacted, including foods served à la carte. The toolkit identifies nutrition standards for school boards to adopt that are accepted by the New Hampshire Department of Education. It also provides information on communicating policy, maximizing financial gains, promoting new foods, celebrations, fundraisers, and other resources.
The new school rules were approved in October of 2011 by the New Hampshire State Board of Education. In December, the rules were adopted by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules and went into effect that same month. In March 2012, the Department of Education issued Technical Advisory #21 to address the sections that apply to school foods.
“Over the course of a child’s life, a large portion of their day is spent in school and thus a good part of their food consumption occurs while they are there as well,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS. “In our fight against obesity, it is imperative that we look at the foods served in schools and at school functions. This toolkit is designed to make the task of implementing the new regulations easier.”
The Obesity Prevention Program (OPP) at DHHS developed the toolkit in collaboration with the Community Health Institute, JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc., and the Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Services in the NH Department of Education.
The toolkit can be accessed on the Obesity Prevention Program’s Healthy Schools page at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/children/index.htm. For more information about the OPP, visit the program website at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/obesity.htm or call (603) 271-4551.