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School Wellness


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School Wellness Policy

Local Wellness Policy Requirements - The Healthy, Hunger‐Free Kids Act of 2010 expands the scope of wellness policies; brings in additional stakeholders in its development, implementation and review; and requires public updates on the content and implementation of the wellness policies (Section 204).

School Wellness Resources

School Wellness Conference - A conference was held on November 12, 2015 at Iowa State University that provides training and resources on the school wellness policy requirements. Resources and presentations from the conference are posted.

Iowa School Wellness Forum - A School Wellness Forum was held on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 at Des Moines University. The goals of the forum were to inform state-level organizations of school wellness requirements for schools, share best practices, learn how to successfully work with schools, and provide a networking opportunity. The target audience was state level organizations that have school wellness initiatives, resources, or funding available for schools. 

Involving Students

Students are often interested in making their schools healthier. Many of the changes implemented as a result of a school wellness policy directly impact students. Gaining their input and support ultimately will enable change to happen more quickly.

Cafeteria Coaching - developed by NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative that uses middle and high school students along with school nutrition staff to encourage kids to try new foods and eat nutritious school meals. The lunchroom is a hectic environment and children often need reminders to focus on their food and general encouragement to try new foods.


Non-food Fundraising and Rewards - The resources below are devoted to non-food, no-cost and low-cost fundraising, classroom rewards and classroom celebrations and are intended to support and complement the local school wellness policy to promote consistent messages about health and wellness throughout the school.

Healthy and Active Classroom Party Ideas from Action for Healthy Kids:
Fall Party, Winter - 12 Days of Fitness, 100th Day of School, and Valentine's Day

Pick a Better Snack - Resources to promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables include: family newsletters, recipe cards, monthly lessons, bingo cards, scorecards, posters, physical activity posters, radio PSAs, newspaper ads/articles, fruit and vegetable fact sheets, and fruit and vegetable graphic files.

Tip Sheets for Schools: Implementing Healthier Standards for Competitive Foods - Five tips sheets share strategies for selling and serving healthier a la carte and snack foods and beverages in schools while still maintaining revenues and minimizing student resistance. The tips sheets highlight key findings from the Controlling Junk Food and the Bottom Line study that profiles eight school districts from across the country.

Water Access in Schools - Drinking water contributes to good health and schools are in a unique position to promote healthy behaviors, including drinking water throughout the school day. Access to free water before, during and after school hours enables students to make a healthy choice an easy choice.

Parents Making Waves - Drinking water is critical to children’s health and academic performance, this toolkit walks parents through the steps toward ensuring their children have access to safe, accessible, and appealing drinking water at school.

School Food and Beverage Marketing Assessment Tool - Utilize this tool to observe any advertising, marketing or promotion of foods or beverages. Information should be collected for any food or beverage, whether you consider it healthy or unhealthy. In addition to filling out this assessment form, you may want to take pictures of the food and beverage advertising and marketing you find or take samples with you if appropriate.

School Meals

It's Not Just School Lunch - Resources for parents and school staff to promote and support school meals.

Empowered Parents for School Wellness Workshops - The 1 ½ hour workshop will empower parents to support school meals and lead change for school wellness. The school Food Service Director can “team up” to lead the workshop with a local Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), dietetic student, school nurse, health teacher, etc. Workshop materials include a leader guide, handouts, fact sheets, table tent awards, and myth and fact quiz. Contact the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at for RDN volunteers in your local area.

Additional Resources

Health and Academic Achievement - Schools, health agencies, parents, and communities share a common goal of supporting the link between healthy eating, physical activity, and improved academic achievement of children and adolescents. Evidence shows that the health of students is linked to their academic achievement, so by working together, we can ensure that young people are healthy and ready to learn.

School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity - The health of students is linked to their academic success. Both physical activity and healthy eating play a powerful role in preventing obesity and chronic disease, including heart disease, cancer and stroke. The guidelines serve as a foundation for developing, implementing and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for students.

The Wellness Impact Report: Enhancing Academic Success through Health School Environments - This report addresses why schools play such an important role in the health and wellness of students and it shows the importance of improved nutrition and activity in creating environments that enrich students’ readiness to learn.

Worksite Wellness

Making Worksite Wellness Work at Your School - Developed collaboratively between Iowans Fit for Life, Iowa Nutrition Network, and Iowa Team Nutrition and provides some easy suggestions to get an employee wellness program started.

Healthy Iowa Worksites Toolkit - Developed to assist Iowa employers - including school systems - in developing, implementing, and evaluating effective worksite wellness programs.

Tips for Developing a Success Employee Wellness Plan - One of the most important steps to create successful wellness programs is to create high engagement and participation. To assist schools in creating effective wellness programs, Kaiser Permanente developed a webinar series - highlighting best practices and featuring national experts.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on July 25, 2016 at 4:02pm.