Alaska School Wellness Policies

Creating Healthier School Environments

A local school wellness policy (also known as the Student Nutrition and Physical Activity policy) is a written document that guides a school district’s development and implementation of policy promoting healthy school nutrition and physical activity.

In 2004, Congress recognized the important role schools play in promoting the health of youth by creating the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act. In 2010 the Act was expanded and renamed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. Under this Act, all school districts that participate in federally funded child nutrition programs must adopt and implement a Local School Wellness Policy (LWP). In 2016, the USDA issued the Final Rule for LWP Implementation.

While individual schools may also adopt a Local Wellness Policy, wellness policies are required at the district level if the district receives NSLP or other child nutrition funding. Wellness policies require several primary components:

  1. Goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school based activities that promote student wellness;
  2. nutrition guidelines to promote student health and reduce childhood obesity for all foods available in each school district;
  3. permit parents, students, all school district employees and the general public to participate in the wellness policy creation and review;
  4. inform and update the public about the content and implementation of the wellness policy;
  5. periodically assess wellness policy for updates, implementation and compliance and make the assessment available to the public.

The State of Alaska Obesity Prevention and Control Program has created a Gold Standard Wellness Policy and additional materials to assist in implementing a wellness policy.

(If you need accessible versions of any documents listed below, please email:

Smart Snacks and Standards for Competitive Foods and Alternative Fund Raisers

The Smart Snacks standards were established in 2014 by the USDA.

  • Smart Snacks standards refer to foods and beverages sold to children outside the Federal child nutrition programs in schools.  This includes items sold in vending machines, school stores and fundraising events, often referred to as Competitive Foods.
  • “A Guide to Smart Snacks in Schools” is a USDA booklet providing a comprehensive overview of the standards and how to tell if a food/beverage meets the requirements. This is a ready-to-go resource for anyone that oversees the sale of foods/beverages to students on the school campus during the school day.
  • Alternative Fundraisers refer to different ways to raise money other than selling junk food and non-nutritional items that contribute to overweight, obesity, diabetes and other chronic health conditions.


Webpage updated July 2023