42% of Codman students are obese or overweight. We know salt and diet are major contributors to this epidemiological pattern. A McDonald’s restaurant sits across the street from our school, and stores and restaurants serving unhealthy snacks such as meat patties are on every corner in our neighborhood. We have made it a priority to educate students on nutrition while also providing healthy breakfast and lunch, thus equipping our students to put their nutritional knowledge into practice.
Codman's nutrition program is called "Every Step Counts," focusing on the idea that small changes make a big difference. "Every Step Counts" includes:
Nutrition Action Club
Codman’s nutrition program is student-run by our Nutrition Action Club (NAC). The NAC is a competitive club, selected by Codman's nutritionist, Dr. Susanna Bedell, and Codman's Wellness Director, Lenward Gatison. The NAC determines the best ways to educate our student body about nutrition and presents these initiatives at our weekly school-wide assembly, Community Circle, through informative public service announcement and entertaining, memorable skits. Each year we focus on one main public health issue. Last year we focused on diabetes, while this year we are focusing on hypertension.
Healthy School Lunches
Beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, we changed its school lunch vendor in an effort to provide our students with healthier, low-sodium school lunches. Requirements included fresh fruits and veggies (nothing frozen!), whole wheat breads and pasta, no fried foods, less than 400mg of sodium per meal, and no cooking with trans or saturated fats. Members of the NAC served as taste-testers as we explored new local vendor options, and we contacted with Sidekim Foods of Lynn, MA. Interested in learning more about our school lunch requirements? Check out the Request for Proposals we issued two years ago in our vendor search.
Junk Food Free Policy
After a two-year campaign led by students in the Nutrition Action Club, Codman Academy has adopted a policy to become a Junk Food Free campus. In our ten years of existence, the school has never served food or beverages high in sugar, fat or salt, but now the entire school is junk food free at all times. See our Nutritional Guide below for more details.
Awards and Recognition
On April 6, 2011, Codman Academy was be recognized by the The Massachusetts Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education and Public Health at a legislative breakfast as the first and highest scoring school in the state to win the Gold-Level Massachusetts School Wellness Award for our nutrition and physical education program. Additionally, in November, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and the Boston Public Health Commission awarded the Codman Square Health Center the First Mayoral Prize for Innovation in Primary Care for its groundbreaking partnership with Codman Academy. Our use of best practices was cited in October 2011 by Healthy Students, Healthy Schools: Guidance for Implementing the Massachusetts School Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods and Beverages.
In 2012, Immediate past Wellness Director, Mbakwe Okafor, was recognized by the Boston Globe for his work on nutrition at Codman Academy.
Codman Academy Nutritional Guide (per serving size)
Calories: 150 | Fat: 5% or less | Saturated Fat: 5% or less | Trans Fat: 0%
Sodium: 5% or less | Sugar: 5g or less
Foods to avoid bringing on campus: carbonated beverages, energy drinks, sweetened iced tea, some sports drinks, fast food, packaged items, juices (not 100% fruit, >12 oz., or >5g sugar)