District Wellness Council

Shoreline School Board Policies

Nutrition and Wellness Policy FAQ

  • Dear families and staff,

    In June 2017, the School Board approved the updated District Nutrition and Wellness Policy. The policy and procedures were developed over 24 months of lively debate, discussion, input and research. We want to commend and thank all who have worked to implement these procedures and most importantly, asked clarifying questions. As a result, we have developed a FAQ that we hope will further build your understanding and ongoing support as we continue to move towards creating a healthier environment for all our students.

    ~Shoreline School District Wellness Council


    Q. Why did the District decide to develop a District Wellness Policy?

    It is a Federal requirement, effective June 30th, 2017, for school districts to have an updated Wellness Policy.  However, we also feel it is important to provide clarity and guidance about how to promote nutrition and wellness in our schools and this policy will provide that information.

    Q. Why did the District decide to stop the sale of foods to students that do not meet the “Smart Snack” guidelines?

    A Federal regulation went into effect July 1, 2014 requiring food sold to students on school grounds from midnight until 30 minutes after the close of school to meet specific “Smart Snacks” nutritional guidelines. Failure to comply could result in the loss of $1.3 million dollars to Shoreline Schools, which supports the school meals program for all students.

    Q. Popcorn is sold to raise funds and/or to celebrate. Is there any popcorn recipe for our popcorn machines that meets the “Smart Snack” guidelines?

    Yes- Harlan’s “All in One” Popcorn Kits. This popcorn meets the “Smart Snacks” guidelines as long as the serving size does not exceed 5 cups of popped popcorn.

    Q. Can we sell food and drinks on school grounds that don’t meet the “Smart Snack” nutritional guidelines?

    Yes, 30 minutes after school is dismissed until midnight. Food sold to students on school grounds from midnight until 30 minutes after the close of school must meet specific “Smart Snacks” nutrition guidelines.

    Q. Are there guidelines for foods sold at District sponsored events outside of the school day?

    Yes- if unhealthy foods are sold, healthy options must also be made available for sale (example, if soda is sold, water must also be available for sale). We encourage you to get creative; customers are looking and willing to pay for creative healthy options.

    Q. My student is asked to bring in food during school hours that represent their culture or country of origin. What can I send?

    You may send food items that meet the Shoreline School District Nutrition Standards for the Classroom Environment. Food allergens and food safety need to be considered.   If you have questions, please contact the District’s Director of Food Services at 206.393.4207.

    Q. My student’s classroom has snack time. What can I bring?

    If you are packing a snack for your student only, you may choose anything you wish. If teachers, the parent group, or individual parents are going to provide snacks for the class, they must follow the Shoreline School District Nutrition Standards for the Classroom Environment. Additionally, food allergens and food safety need to be considered.

    Q. Can food be included in class parties and celebrations?

    Yes- if food is provided in the classroom environment it must meet, at a minimum, the Shoreline School District Nutrition Standards for the Classroom Environment. Food allergens and food safety need to be considered which means that there may be more restrictions on food in your student’s classroom than the minimum standards; consult with your student’s teacher for classroom rules regarding food.

    Q. Can students be given candy, beverages, or food as an incentive or reward?

    No, edible items can not to be used as an incentive or reward. There are many non-food rewards that can be used instead. You can find ideas for incentives and rewards in the Resource Library above. 

    Q. Are there rules about the items sold in vending machines, ala carte at lunch time, and from Student Stores?

    Yes- These areas are regulated by the “Smart Snacks” federal nutrition guidelines. 

    Q. Are there rules about the meals sold as part of the school breakfast and lunch programs?

    Yes- The National School Lunch and Breakfast programs are regulated by federal USDA nutrition regulations.  Nutrition standards can be found HERE.

    Q. Can our school’s parent group host “Moms & Muffins/Dad’s & Donuts” or similar events?

    We understand that these giveaway events are held to build school spirit and community; however, in the “spirit” of the Wellness Policy, if they are held during the school day, the foods need to comply with the Shoreline School District’s Nutrition Standards for the Classroom Environment.

    Q. Can Valentine’s Day cards include candy?

    Although candy in Valentine’s Day cards is discouraged, it is not banned because the candy in not intended to be consumed at school but at home at the discretion of the student’s parents/guardians.

    Q. Can the PTA have afterschool community events such as an evening gingerbread house making night?

    Yes, this is not a food sale or a reward and families have a choice to participate in the event or not.

    Q. My student’s school is holding an after-school function. Do we have to wait 30 minutes until after the school day to start serving food?

    No- the “midnight to 30 minutes” after the close of the school day applies to the sale of food to students on school grounds.

    Q. Can students be rewarded with pizza or ice cream for participating in a fun run or other activity?

    No- this sends a conflicting message about nutrition and physical fitness. Non-food rewards can be given as a reward instead. Having water and foods such as bananas and granola bars at the end of a run with the purpose to replenish race participants is acceptable and relays a consistent message about good nutrition and physical activity.

    Q. Can students be served root beer floats or fruit punch at a celebration during the school day?

    No- root beer or other sugary drinks do not meet the Nutrition and Wellness Policy standards for beverages. A drink that meets the “Smart Snacks” drink standards can be served as long as the item will meet food safety standards and food allergies are considered.

    Q. Can students purchase or be served diet or caffeinated beverages at school?

    Caffeinated and diet beverage options are only allowed under the Smart Snacks for Schools regulations at the High School level. These beverage options are not approved for Elementary or Middle School students.

    Q. A teacher asks a student to stay in from recess to finish homework and/or a class project, is this considered a form of reprisal/punishment?

    No- homework and class projects are not punishments but part of the education experience, so asking a student to stay in class to finish school work would not be considered reprisal/punishment.