BPS' Food and Nutrition Policy

The Boston Public Schools supports lifelong healthy eating habits for all students and staff, and is committed to addressing the increasing rates of diet-related health consequences among these groups. BPS shall promote healthy lifestyles and appropriate nutritional practices for all students.
Components of this approach include:
  • Constantly reviewing and assessing the food available in school meals to ensure safety, quality, visual appeal, cultural proficiency and accessibility, and that it is consistent with recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and USDA School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children in nutritional content
  • Identifying opportunities to teach healthy eating habits in health education, physical education, integrated into the Common Core, and through cafeteria, and other school-wide promotions;
  • Identifying opportunities to provide support to all students around appropriate nutritional practices for meals and snacks;
  • Identifying opportunities to support teachers, school staff, and parents around modeling healthy eating habits and the appropriate nutritional standards and encouraging non-food alternatives, for school fundraisers, student rewards and reinforcement, school parties, and classroom celebrations;
  • Promoting health and nutrition messages that encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, low-fat dairy products, and water and other messages consistent with research-based findings that indicate a positive impact on health;
  • Establishing policy guidelines for food and beverage sales within school environments that meet or exceed those required by federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
For school meals, competitive foods & beverages, and all foods sold or provided outside of the school meals program, schools shall follow standards outlined in federal, state, and local policies; and at a minimum follow Bronze status standards for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and work toward Bronze status standards for the Healthier US School Challenge.2 School Food and Nutrition Promotion related policies shall be followed by all Boston Public Schools.. Boston Public schools shall undertake a constant review of school food and the food environment to ensure safety, quality, visual appeal, and cultural accessibility. Boston Public School shall reduce material used for packaging, sourcing recyclable or compostable materials when possible and working to promote best practices around recycling and composting Relevant and existing School Food and Nutrition Promotion policies, for which school-based Wellness Councils and school staff must comply, are referenced in the Federal, State, and Boston Public School Policies section of this policy. See Appendix A. In addition, the Superintendent and appropriate BPS staff have developed guidelines, which are implemented on July 1, 2004 and updated March, 2011 for the sale of competitive foods and beverages and beverages in school buildings or on school grounds. These guidelines are in accordance with the Massachusetts A La Carte Food Standards to Promote a Healthier School Environment, Institute of Medicine, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Competitive Foods and School Beverage Guidelines, and the Healthier US School Challenge.