State of Hawaii Wellness Guidelines

State of Hawaii Wellness Guidelines

(Implements Board of Education Policy 1110-6)

The Department of Education (DOE) recognizes that there are links among nutrition education, the food served in schools, and the amount of physical activity. Student wellness is affected by all of these. The DOE also recognizes that when students’ wellness needs are met they attain higher achievement levels. To enable the development of life-long healthy habits, each of Hawaii’s public schools shall implement these Wellness Guidelines over a four-year period (SY 2007-08 through SY 2010-11).

The Wellness Guidelines are based upon the following principles:

Healthy students are better able to learn;
Eating habits and active lifestyles that are developed in childhood will affect health throughout life;
All children deserve nutritious and safely prepared food;
Standards based Health Education, including a focus on skills and knowledge relating to nutrition;
Standards based Physical Education as well as daily physical activity.
Assessment and evaluation will be an integral part of ensuring the adoption and implementation of these Wellness Guidelines.

Each school will have a designated school committee or council that regularly addresses school health issues. This committee shall be responsible for ensuring that the Hawaii Wellness Guidelines are implemented at the school.

The purpose of the committee will be to improve and maintain the school health environment to promote the level of healthy students with an emphasis on lifelong physical activity, nutrition, and being tobacco free.

The committee can be an existing body (i.e., School Community Council, Safety Committee, Quality School Support/Comprehensive Student Support Services Committee) or a newly formed group.

The committee shall include representatives from the school administration, staff/faculty, students and community.

The committee shall utilize the School Health Index and other sources of data to identify priority areas and to monitor improvements in those areas on an annual basis. Priority areas should be included in the school’s Academic and Financial Plan.

The committee shall ensure that the school provide families with information about community physical activity resources and is encouraged to work closely with community organizations and programs that help schools implement these Wellness Guidelines.


Food/beverage providers must promote positive nutritional logos and trademarks on school grounds.

Nutrition information for products offered in snack bars, ala carte, vending, etc. is readily available near the point of purchase.

Nutrition Guidelines for Food and Beverage Items

All food and beverages sold or served to students at school or at school sponsored functions must comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines. Exceptions can be made for food and beverage items provided at one-time privately catered school sponsored events such as Prom or Winter Ball. Fund-raising events are not exempt.

The following items are not provided to students anywhere at school or at school-sponsored functions:

Food of minimal nutritional value as defined by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations.
All food and beverage items listing sugar, in any form, as the first ingredient, such as candy.
Food containing artificial trans fat.

All reimbursable meals shall fulfill Federal nutrient standards as required by the USDA Child Nutrition Program regulations.

All meals sold or served to students at school or at school sponsored functions must comply with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines.

Meals should feature fresh and minimally processed fruits and vegetables from local sources to the greatest extent possible.


After-school snacks served as part of the National School Lunch Program or the Child and Adult Care Food Program must meet USDA meal pattern requirements.

All snack items sold or served to students anywhere at school or at school sponsored functions, including items sold in ala carte lines and fundraisers, or provided in classrooms must meet the Institute of Medicine (IOM) standards per serving based on the nutrition facts label or U.S. Food and Drug Administration-established serving size reference amount:

Calories ≤ 200 calories
Total Fat ≤ 8 grams
With the exceptions of nuts and seeds.
Saturated Fat ≤ 2 grams
Trans Fat ZERO
Sodium ≤ 200 mg
Sugar ≤ 8 grams
Dietary Fiber ≥ 2 grams
Snacks with < 2 grams of dietary fiber are currently acceptable.

All beverages sold or served to students at school or at school sponsored functions must comply with the current IOM guidelines.

Beverages for all students include:

Water without flavoring, additives, or carbonation
Low-fat and nonfat milk:
Lactose-free and soy beverages are included
Flavored milk with no more than 22 g of total sugar per 8 oz. portion
100 percent fruit juice
Caffeine-free, with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances
Beverages for secondary level students after school may include:

Non-caffeinated, non-fortified beverages with less than 5 calories per portion as packaged (with or without non-nutritive sweeteners, carbonation, or flavoring).
Sports drinks for student athletes participating in sport programs involving vigorous activity of more than one hour's duration.

All required health education classes include a focus on knowledge and skills that support healthy eating and are aligned with the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards for Health Education. Nutrition education is integrated into other areas of the curriculum such as math, science, language arts, and social studies. Standards-based health and nutrition education information are taught by or done in collaboration with a teacher.

Instructional periods incorporating quality standards-based health education totals of a minimum of:

45 minutes per week for grades K-3,
55 minutes per week for grades 4-5, 107 minutes per week for elementary grade 6, and
200 minutes per week for secondary grades 6-12.
Standards-based health and nutrition education curricula information involve sharing information with families and the broader community (i.e., area sports leagues, youth groups & school clubs) to positively impact students and the health of the community. In recognition of the existing health disparities prevalent among Hawaii’s children, nutrition education includes multiple options for achieving optimum nutrition and health, and includes practical, multi-ethnic approaches that reach across all economic strata.

Schools will promote the importance of students starting the day with a healthy breakfast, including the School Breakfast Program.
Schools will promote the importance of students eating a nutritious lunch & healthy snacks, including participation in the National School Lunch Program and After School Snack Program (if applicable).

A systemic approach to physical activity develops and reinforces a physically active lifestyle. Teachers play a large role in increasing physical activity for students. Teachers must attend physical education workshops and conferences for professional development.

All required physical education classes shall be aligned with the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards for Physical Education. Physical education is an integral part of the total education of every child kindergarten through grade 12. Quality physical education programs facilitate the development of physically active lifestyles and are needed to increase the physical competence, health-related fitness, personal responsibility, and enjoyment of physical activity for all students so that they can be physically active for a lifetime.

Instructional periods providing developmentally appropriate programs total a minimum of:
45 minutes per week grades K-3,
55 minutes per week for grades 4-5, 107 minutes per week for elementary grade 6, and
200 minutes per week for secondary grades 6-12.
Physical education courses provide an environment where students can learn, practice, and are assessed on developmentally appropriate motor skills, social skills, and knowledge acquisition.
Policies ensure that state-certified physical education instructors teach all physical education classes and have a student/teacher ratio similar to other classes.
Each secondary school’s physical education department provides continuing support to students and their families to help them participate in physical activity outside of physical education class.
All students will have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, during which schools must encourage moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Students do not have periods of two or more hours of inactivity.
The only exception is during school-wide testing.
Schools do not use physical activity as punishment.
Schools do not withhold opportunities for physical activity as punishment.

School faculty and staff, including School Food Services Staff, will be provided professional development in Hawaii’s Wellness Guidelines, health and nutrition education, physical education and Coordinated School Health summits.