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United Methodist Youth Home, Inc.

Wellness Policy on Physical Activity and Nutrition

Philosophy:  The United Methodist Youth Home, Inc. supports the health and well-being of all residents and students by promoting nutrition and physical activity.

Statement of Purpose:  In accordance with federal law, it is the policy of UMYH to provide residents and students access to healthy foods and beverages; provide opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity; and require that all meals served by UMYH meet or exceed the federal nutritional guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  A coordinated Wellness Committee will be formed and maintained to oversee these activities.

UMYH’s Wellness Policy will be made available to youth and their families by means of the student/resident handbook and UMYH’s website.

  • Wellness Committee

UMYH will encourage students, parents/guardians, staff, health professionals, and other interested community members in developing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing agency-wide nutrition and physical activity policies.  A Wellness Committee will be formed and maintained at the agency to oversee the development, implementation, and evaluation of the wellness policy.

  • In accordance with state and federal law, UMYH will form and maintain a Wellness Committee that includes at least the following:  
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Residents/Students
  • Staff
  • Executive Director
  • Director of Programming
  • Wellness Coordinator
  • Any interested members of the general public
  • Representatives of Interested Community Organizations
  • The Wellness Committee shall meet at least quarterly to review nutrition and physical activity policies and to develop an action plan for the coming year.  The Wellness Committee will also discuss implementation activities and address any barriers and challenges.
  • The Wellness Policy will be updated at least every 3 years.
  • The Wellness Policy shall be made available to youth and their families by means of the student/resident handbook and UMYH’s website.
  • Nutrition Education and Nutrition Promotion

Nutrition topics shall be integrated within programming and taught to every resident and Day Treatment student.

  • Nutrition education will also be incorporated into the Independent Living Curriculum.  This will include teaching the youth how to read and use food labels, choosing healthy options, and portion control.
  • Foods of minimal nutritional value, including brands and illustrations, shall not be advertised or marketed in the educational setting.
  • Standards for USDA Child Nutrition Programs and Meals

UMYH will provide and promote the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs to ensure that all residents and Day Treatment students have access to healthy foods to support healthier choices.

  • Meal Content
  • Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:
  • Be appealing and appetizing to youth
  • Meet, at a minimum, the nutrition requirements established by the USDA for federally funded programs
  • Offer fruits and vegetables
  • All cooked food will be baked or steamed.  Proper procurement procedures and preparation methods will be used to decrease excess fat, calorie, and sodium levels in food.
  • Special dietary needs of youth will be considered when planning meals.
  1. School Meal Participation
  • To the extent possible, we will provide the USDA School Breakfast and Lunch Program to all residents and Day Treatment students.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided to youth at consistently scheduled times each day.
  1. Mealtimes and Scheduling
  • Adequate time will be provided to youth to eat lunch (at least 20 minutes after being served) and breakfast (at least 10 minutes after being served).
  • Meals will be served in clean and pleasant settings.
  • Youth will have convenient access to hand-washing or sanitizing stations.
  • Drinking water will be readily available at all mealtimes.
  1. Professional Development
  • Professional development and training will be provided at least annually to staff on proper food handling techniques and healthy cooking practices.
  • Nutrition Standards for Competitive and Other Foods and Beverages
  • United Methodist Youth Home does not have any vending machines available for the youth.
  1. B. Availability

Youth will have free, portable drinking water for consumption available in their program.

  1. Celebrations
  • Celebrations will focus on activities (giving free time, extra recess, music and reading time) rather than on food.
  • Celebrations that include food will be limited.  Food items must meet the guidelines set forth in this document.
  1. Food as Punishment
  • Staff will not withhold food or drink at mealtimes as punishment.  
  • Physical Activity and Physical Education
  • UMYH supports the health and well-being of students by promoting physical activity through various recreational activities and other physical activity breaks.  Additionally, UMYH supports physical activity among youth by providing them with at least 30 of the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
  • Staff will not use physical activity (running laps, pushups, etc.) or withhold opportunities for physical activity as punishment.
  • Other Activities that Promote Student Wellness

The board supports the health and well-being of our students and staff by creating and promoting policy and environmental supports to provide physical activity and healthy eating opportunities.

  • Evaluation

UMYH is committed to enforcing the policies and guidelines included in this document.  Through implementation of the Wellness Policy, UMYH will create an environment that supports opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating behaviors.  To ensure continuing progress, UMYH will evaluate implementation efforts and their impact on youth and staff.

Nutrition Education Goals

  • Every year, all students and residents shall receive nutrition education that is age-appropriate and aligned with the curriculum standards and benchmarks established by the State of Indiana.  
  • Nutrition education posters and other nutrition education information will be displayed in the cafeteria.
  • The staff shall be encouraged to model healthy eating as a valuable part of daily life.

Physical Education Goals

  • Students and residents are given opportunities for physical activity during the school day through physical education classes, daily recreation periods for Day Treatment students, and other scheduled recreational programming during the day.  During inclement weather, students and residents will utilize the recreation building for physical activity.
  • Recreational programming will provide a variety of activities with an emphasis on developing healthy habits for a lifetime of regular physical activity.
  • Recreational programming shall teach cooperation, fair play, and responsible participation.
  • Recreational programming shall take into account gender and cultural differences.

Goals to Encourage Healthy Eating

  • UMYH will offer breakfast and lunch to all residents and students, prepared and served in a clean, safe environment, by well-prepared staff who understands food safety.  
  • Menus will meet the nutrition standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will feature a variety of healthy choices that are tasty, attractive, of excellent quality, and are served at the proper temperature.
  • UMYH will ensure that students, residents, and staff with documented nutrition-related health problems are provided with appropriate meals, and, if necessary, are referred to appropriate services for medical treatment.

Other School Based Activities

  • UMYH shall provide attractive, clean environments in which the students eat.  
  • Students and residents are discouraged from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some student’s diets.
  • At any function, healthy food choice options should be available to students and residents.