The Essex Fells Board of Education recognizes that child and adolescent obesity has reached epidemic levels in the United States, and poor diet, combined with a lack of physical activity, negatively impacts students’ health and their ability and motivation to learn.
    The Board of Education is committed to:
    ·  Providing students with healthy and nutritional foods;
    ·  Supporting healthy eating through nutrition education; and
    ·  Reducing the consumption of any products containing trans fats.
    Specific Regulations
    1.      All meals served or sold to pupils shall meet Federal nutrition standards as required by the United States Department of Agriculture Child Nutrition Program regulations.
    2.   All snack and beverage items sold or served anywhere on school property during the school day shall meet the following standards:
    a)         Based on manufacturers’ nutritional data or nutrition facts labels, snacks and beverages must NOT contain:
    (i) More than 8 grams of total fat per serving with the exception of nuts and seeds;
    (ii) More than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving;
    b)    Whole milk shall not exceed 8 ozs;
    c)    100% fruit juice and 100% vegetable juice shall not exceed 12 ozs; and
    d)        Water, 2% milk, 1% milk or skim milk may be served in unlimited quantities.
    3.   The following items may not be served, sold, or given out as free promotion anywhere on school property at anytime before the end of the school day.  This includes teacher-initiated treats used as rewards or positive reinforcement to students:
     a)   Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV): In the case of artificially sweetened foods, a food which provides less then 5% of the Reference Daily Intakes (RDI) for each of eight specified nutrients per serving including protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium and iron AND is included in one of the Categories of Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value (FMNV) as outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (see appendix A). These categories include:
    (i)    Soda Water
    (ii)   Water Ices – such as ice pops and Italian Ices
    (iii) Chewing Gum                                                        
    (iv) Certain Candies:
    1) Hard Candy – such as sour balls, fruit balls, candy sticks, lollipops, starlight mints, after dinner mints, sugar wafers, rock candy, cinnamon candies, breath mints, jaw breakers and cough drops.
    2) Jellies and Gums – such as gum drops, jelly beans, jellied and fruit-flavored slices.
    3) Marshmallow Candies
    4) Fondant - such as candy corn, soft mints, icing on cakes or cupcakes.
    5) Licorice
    6) Spun (Cotton) Candy
    7) Candy Coated Popcorn
    b)      All food and beverage items listing sugar, in any form, as the first ingredient. Forms of sugar include: Sugar, Corn syrup, Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Galactose, Glucose, Lactose, Dextrin, Malt, Maltose, Maple Syrup, Molasses, Sucrose and Honey.
    c)      All food and beverage items using artificial sweeteners or artificial sweeteners as stand-alone items.  Artificial sweeteners include: Sucralose (Splenda), Aspartame (Equal) and Saccharin (Sweet-N-Low).
    d)      All forms of candy.
    4.      School or classroom bake sales within the school day shall be prohibited.
    5.     During Special Celebrations, items from the acceptable foods list shall be permitted, however, all foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV) are prohibited (see Appendix A).  The Board of Education recognizes the following Special Celebrations:
    a)    Halloween*
    b)    Winter Holiday parties
    c)    Valentine’s Day*
    d)    End of the school year celebration
    e)    Curriculum-related activities (as approved by the Superintendent)
    f)     Birthday celebrations
    (i)    Birthdays will be celebrated on a monthly basis in each classroom on a day determined by the classroom teacher.
    (ii)   Non-edible items or a classroom activity/craft approved by your child’s teacher are other options.
    (iii) Children’s birthdays are also recognized during our morning announcements. 
    *As Halloween and Valentines Day remain traditional “candy holidays,” goody bags/candy gifts may be distributed for consumption after school.
    6.   Lunch/Snack: Food and beverages provided by parents for their individual child’s personal consumption are not restricted by this policy. However, the Board of Education encourages parents to provide foods that meet the nutritional standards as set forth in our policy (Policy No. 3542.1) posted on the Board of Education’s webpage. The school nurse will no longer provide alternative lunches to students who do not want to eat the lunch their parent provides. If a child forgets to bring his/her lunch, the school nurse will contact the parent to bring a lunch to the school.
    This policy does not apply to:
    ·        Medically authorized special needs diets pursuant to 7 CFR Part 210;
    ·        School nurses using FMNVs during the course of providing health care to individual students; or
    ·        Special needs students whose Individualized Education Plan (IEP) indicates their use for behavior modification.
    Our school district’s curriculum shall incorporate nutritional education and physical activity consistent with the New Jersey Department of Education Core Curriculum Standards.
    The Board of Education will work toward expanding awareness about this policy among students, parents, teachers, and the community at large.

    Click HERE to download and view our Acceptable and Non Acceptable Foods List