Healthy Kids Act
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The purpose of the Healthy Kids Act is to establish physical activity requirements for students in kindergarten through 12th grade and to establish nutritional content standards for food and beverages sold on or provided on school grounds during the school day (first bell to last bell).
The following brochure summarizes the history of the Healthy Kids Act and its components, offers detailed information about the nutritional content standards, and provides suggestions for ways school staff, parents, and students can help support the legislation. An editable document and .pdf file are included for you to use and distribute as you wish.
USDA Smart Snacks in School
As a part of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010, USDA has released an interim final rule effective July 1, 2014, Smart Snacks in School, which establishes nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students on campus during the school day outside of meals served as a part of the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. Iowa has nutrition standards in effect for foods sold outside of meal programs since July 1, 2010, established as a part of the Healthy Kids Act of 2008
On December 5, 2013 the Iowa Healthy Kids Act (HKA) Advisory Council met to review HKA nutrition standards and to provide recommendations for change to the State Board of Education. The Iowa State Board of Education noticed the recommendations from the HKA Advisory Council on January 23rd and it was recommended that the State Board give public notice of its intent to amend Chapter 58 (nutrition content standards of other foods and beverages). This change to the rules replaces the current nutritional chart and explanation in the administrative code. The replacement is a simple statement of agreement to national food standards as established by the United States Department of Agriculture to comply with their student nutrition program standards. Interested individuals may make written comments on the proposed amendments on or before March 11, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. Comments on the proposed amendments should be directed to Mike Cormack, Policy Liaison, Iowa Department of Education, Second Floor, Grimes State Office Building, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146; telephone (515)281-3399; or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
A public hearing will be held on March 11, 2014, from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., at the State Board Room, Second Floor, Grimes State Office Building, East 14th Street and Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, at which time persons may present their views either orally or in writing. The Executive Summary can be found at
As a reference, the link to the chart below highlights the differences in the USDA Smart Snacks in School interim final rule and Iowa’s Healthy Kids Act Standards.
One purpose of the Healthy Kids Act is to establish nutritional content standards for food and beverages sold or provided on school grounds during the school day.
The Iowa Department of Education’s Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services received a Wellmark Foundation grant titled Building on the Healthy Kids Act Opportunity. This grant allowed the Department of Education to support schools with the implementation of the Healthy Kids Act nutritional content standards at the local level; guide schools in re-examining their school district wellness policy; and engage parents and the greater school community in recognizing the impact they have as role models.
Nutrition Calculator - This calculator will determine whether a food product meets the Healthy Kids Act Nutritional Content Standards for a la carte, vending, and regulated fundraising items sold to students during the school day.
Healthy Kids Act Toolkit - This toolkit was created through a Wellmark Foundation Grant, Building on the Healthy Kids Act Opportunity. It was designed to assist schools in the implementation of the Healthy Kids Act Nutritional Content Standards for a la carte, vending, and regulated fundraising. Resources are divided up by their target audience and can be distributed in hard-copy format or electronically.
This presentation was developed through the Wellmark Foundation Grant, Building on the Healthy Kids Act Opportunity, and was utilized in the Healthy Kids Act Regional Trainings held across the state of Iowa. Please utilize this tool as you prepare your staff, students, and parents for implementation of the Healthy Kids Act Nutritional Content Standards.
Included below are several resources that emphasize the need for adults in the school community to serve as healthy role models for students. The PowerPoint presentation, Role Modeling for Healthy Kids, can be used in staff meetings, in-services, and community settings to reinforce the importance of adults setting positive examples for youth - and their peers - in the area of nutrition and physical activity. Administrators and school staff are invited to view the recorded Taking School Wellness to the Next Level webinar to learn how to build support for school wellness and listen in on an interactive worksite wellness forum. Results from the forum are also included. Additional handouts are provided to further support healthy school environments.
Making Worksite Wellness Work at Your School
This resource was developed collaboratively between Iowans Fit for Life and the Iowa Nutrition Network at the Iowa Department of Public Health and Team Nutrition at the Iowa Department of Education. It was designed because addressing health and wellness in the school environment has become increasingly important in recent years, not just for students, but for staff, as well. This document will provide school staff some easy suggestions to get an employee wellness program started.
Healthy Iowa Worksites Toolkit
This toolkit was developed to assist Iowa employers - including school systems - in developing, implementing, and evaluating effective worksite wellness programs. The toolkit can be found at this link: