Health & Nutrition Education Guidelines

Details on the Department's Hawaii Content & Performance Standards for Health.

​​Hawaii Content & Performance Standards III for Health K-12

  1. Students comprehend core concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention. All standards must be taught in the following priority risk topics:
    • Promote Mental and Emotional Health
    • Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
    • Promote Personal Health and Wellness
    • Promote Safety and Prevent Unintentional Injury and Violence
    • Promote Tobacco-Free Lifestyle
    • Promote an Alcohol and Other Drug Free Lifestyle
    • Promote Sexual Health and Responsibility
  2. Students access valid health information and health-promoting products and services.
  3. Students practice healthy behaviors and reduce health risks.
  4. Students analyze the influences of media, culture, technology, and other factors to enhance health.
  5. Students use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health.
  6. Students use goal-setting and decision-making skills to enhance health.
  7. Students advocate for personal, family, and community health.

Note: Health Education in Pre-kindergarten is aligned to the Hawaii Early Learning and Development Standards (HELDS).

Course requirements for health education

  • Health education is required in all elementary grades.
  • One semester total (two quarters) of health education is strongly recommended, but not required, during 7th and/or 8th grade.
  • In high school grades 9-12, a one-semester course in health education is required for graduation.

Ways schools promote good nutrition

  • Positive messages about nutritious foods are displayed on campus;
  • Vending machines for students are stocked with water only;
  • School meals are made from scratch as much as possible, including fresh baked whole-grain bread items;
  • No foods contain trans-fats;
  • Drinking water is available for free to students during meal times;
  • Classes are invited to visit the cafeteria kitchen to learn how to prepare healthy foods;
  • Healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks are promoted to students and their families; and
  • Instructional gardens demonstrate how food is grown.

Where is health education headed?

The Hawaii State Department of Education is advancing the adoption of the National Health Education Standards (NHES) and projecting to present to the Hawaii State Board of Education in the school year 2019-2020.

Currently, the NHES are widely recognized and used across the nation by federal and state agencies, educational institutions, and professional organizations that support health education, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America, Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Education, and Hawaii Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (HAHPERD).

The NHES were designed to help students develop into health-literate individuals.  Health-literate individuals are able to adopt health-enhancing behaviors that contribute to healthy relationships and a positive quality of life as well as prevent and reduce the risk of disease and injury.  Health-literate individuals are also able to advocate for the health of others. Providing students with high-quality, comprehensive health education equips and empowers them with health literacy skills, knowledge, and attitudes to address their current and future health needs and challenges.  Health literacy is essential to students’ social, emotional, mental, physical, and academic development.

Additional information about NHES may be found in the following resources:

Contact Information

Health Education Program

Phone: (808) 305-9712


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