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School Wellness Policy
Local Wellness Policy Requirements (Final Rule)- The Healthy, Hunger‐Free Kids Act of 2010 expands the scope of wellness policies; brings in additional stakeholders in its development, implementation and review; triennial assessments; and requires public updates on the content and implementation of the wellness policies. The final rule requires districts to begin revising local wellness policies during the 2016-17 school year and fully comply with the final rule by June 30, 2017.
Sample Wellness Policy and Regulation - Iowa Association of School Boards has amended the sample policy (507.9 - Wellness Policy) and added sample regulation (507.9R1) to reflect the final rule.
- Holy Family Catholic Schools: An excellent wellness policy for non-public schools to use as a guide.
- Model Wellness Policy - Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- Sample Smarter Lunchroom Wellness Policy Language - Smarter Lunchroom Movement
School Wellness Policy Update Webinar - Held on January 17, 2017 provided an overview of USDA Local Wellness Policy Final Rule, Iowa Association of School Boards Sample Wellness Policy, Child Nutrition Administrative Review School Wellness Questions, and School Wellness Policy Resources. Presentation Slides
Administrative Review Questions, Assessments and Building Progress Reports
- Local Wellness Policy AR Questions
Does Your Wellness Policy Measure Up?
- School Wellness Policy Building Progress Report
- WellSAT 2.0: Wellness Policy On-Line Assessment Tool
School Wellness Committee Resources
- Sample Wellness Policy Committee Invitation - Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- School Wellness Policy Committee Tool-kit - Alliance for a Healthier Generation
School Wellness Resources
Bulletin Boards and Signage Ideas
A one stop shop for ideas for bulletin boards, signage, electronic message, murals, and wall quotes that can be used throughout the school to feature wellness messages to support the school wellness environment.
Healthy Schools - Healthy Students: Stay Connected!
Newsletter: On a monthly basis an electronic newsletter is sent that provides information on implementing nutrition and physical activity programs in schools, awareness of upcoming school wellness training opportunities, success stories and ideas from Iowa schools working to promote healthy habits in their students and staff. To receive the e-newsletter on please email email@example.com.
Social Media: "Like Us" and "Follow Us" to find out about the latest funding opportunities, success stories across the state, and resources to support the wellness environment at your school! In addition, use both as a resource to “share” or “retweet” information to your followers as an avenue to promote school wellness.
Healthy and Active Classroom Celebration Ideas
Celebrations and seasonal holidays are an important part of the school experience. The following resources provide ideas on ways to incorporate healthier snacks and physical activity.
- Healthy Classroom Celebration Ideas
- Action for Healthy Kids: Fall Party, 12 Days of Fitness, 100th Day of School, and Valentine's Day
- Team Nutrition Healthy Celebration Ideas - Discover MyPlate - Back to School Friendship, Halloween and Fall, Thanksgiving, Welcome Winter!, Valentine's Day, 100th Day of School, St. Patrick's Day, Dr. Seuss Birthday, Swing into Spring!, Earth Day, and End of School Year
- Sample Letter to Parents and Snack List
- Food Idea Tip Sheet
- Foods Brought from Home Sample List
- Healthy Snack List (Cedar Rapids CSD)
- Ideas for Non-Food Celebrations (5-2-1-0)
- Ideas for Healthy Snacks (5-2-1-0)
HealthierUS School Challenge
The HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms is a federal certification initiative that recognizes schools for their: food and beverage offerings; Smarter Lunchroom techniques; school meal participation; teaching kids about nutritious food choices and being active; providing opportunities for physical activity; and supportive school wellness policies.
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.
- How to Form a Student Wellness Group Webinar Recording and Presentation Slides
- How to Involve Students - Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- How to Get Feedback from Students - Minnesota Department of Health
- How to Form a Student Wellness Group
- Tips for Listening to Students - Minnesota Department of Health
- Tips for Involving Students - Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion at Penn State College
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.
Empowering Youth - Team Nutrition resource for use in after school programs and classrooms with youth 11-18 years old. It contains hands-on activities that teach nutrition concepts; ideas to include nutrition education and physical activity into youth programs and events; tips, worksheets, handouts, discussion prompters and more!
Engage school staff and parents in school wellness using these ready-to-go communication tools. Sharing news about your Local School Wellness Policy is easy with these flyers, presentations, newsletter articles, and social media posts. Your school can personalize them to make them specific to your Local School Wellness Policy activities.
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.
- Non-Food Fundraising Flyer
- Best Practices for Healthy School Fundraisers (USDA)
- Healthy Fundraisers (Kansas State Department of Education)
- Going Green Fundraiser Ideas
- Healthy Fundraisers (Action for Healthy Kids)
- Non-Food Rewards Flyer
- Healthy Non-Food Rewards (Action for Healthy Kids)
- Alternatives to Using Food as a Reward
- Constructive Classroom Rewards: Promoting Good Habits While Protecting Children’s Health
Team Nutrition - An initiative of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, provides resources to schools, child care settings, and summer meal sites that participate in these programs. Below are nutrition education resources that are available online. If you are interested in printed copies, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lessons: Discover MyPlate (Kindergarten), Dig In! (5th and 6th Grade), Grow it, Try it, Like it! (Preschool), Nutrition Voyage (7th and 8th Grade), Serving Up MyPlate (1st and 2nd, 3rd and 4th, and 5th and 6th), Great Garden Detective (3rd and 4th Grade)
- Posters: MyPlate for Kids, MyPlate, Eat Smart. Play Hard, Elementary Posters, Middle School Posters
Food Tasting Resources - Fun fact sheets, sample tasting schedule, tasting instructions for students, words to describe foods, food safety tips, and fruit and vegetable riddles.
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.
Food and Beverage Marketing in Schools - Provides guidance on promoting healthy lifestyle choices through advertising at schools in accordance with the Local School Wellness Policy regulations. Following these practices will promote environments where students will make healthy lifestyle choices that can affect their lifelong wellness. This resource was developed by the State of Alaska Obesity Prevention and Control Program.
Nutrition Education and Promotion - Nutrition education teaches students how to choose and enjoy healthy foods along with the benefits of healthy foods on one’s body and mind. Nutrition education and promotion can take place across the school, formally and informally, inside and outside of the classroom, whether in the cafeteria, hallways, gym or at school events.
Parents for Healthy Schools
Action for Healthy Kids Parent Leadership Series - Includes resources for parents to work collaboratively within their school communities to improve policy and practices related to school nutrition and physical activity. The multi-part series covers the basics of how school systems work, project planning, wellness policies and the most effective ways to advocate for change.
Parents for Healthy Schools - Developed by CDC to help schools and school groups (e.g., parent teacher groups and school wellness committees) to engage parents to create healthy school environments. These resources can provide parents with practical strategies and actions to improve the school health environment and provide suggestions for ways to track progress in engaging parents in changing the school health environment.
Recess Before Lunch
Iowa Department of Education Team Nutrition Program partnered with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Midwest Dairy Council to conduct a recess before lunch pilot in three select elementary buildings during the 2013-14 school year. The pilot included an assessment of food and milk waste, photo estimation, and school staff interviews and surveys.
Smart Snacks in School
The Healthy, Hunger‐Free Kids Act of 2010, establishes nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students before, during and 30 minutes after the school day. The nutrition standards that are a part of the Iowa Healthy Kids Act are now equivalent to USDA’s Smart Snack standards.
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 email@example.com for RDN volunteers in your local area.
MyPlate at Home: This colorful handout for parents reinforces the class lessons at home. It's available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and French.
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.
Webinars and Training Materials
- School Wellness Policies: Healthy Schools – Healthy Iowa Students Webinar - Webinar is for school staff and wellness committees to learn more about the updated school wellness policy requirements that are a part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and what to expect during a state review to ensure compliance.
- Fresh Conversations Webinar - Lunch, Breakfast, Smart Snacks and Wellness Policy refresher including topics related to the school nutrition program: lunch, breakfast, Smart Snacks and your Wellness Policy.
- Kick Off School Wellness Webinar - A webinar was held on October 14, 2014 that included information on school wellness policy requirements, an overview of the Smart Snacks requirements, healthy fundraiser ideas, alternatives to using food as a reward, and upcoming workshop and funding opportunities.
- School Wellness Conference - Presentation materials from the conference held on November 12, 2015.
Iowa School Wellness Forum - Forum was held on June 28, 2016 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.
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.
School Employee Wellness - School staff work tirelessly to support their students. How can we foster healthier, happier school employees who are more satisfied, successful and productive at work? School employee wellness is an important piece of the puzzle.
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.