Below are some resources to help Iowa School Districts support their school wellness environments.
A webinar was held on Tuesday, January 28th that provided information on the updated school wellness policy requirements that are a part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The webinar provided information about the federal law and tools for schools to make sure they are in compliance. To view the link to the webinar and handouts provided, click here.
Iowa State University in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Education has developed an online assessment tool to help school districts assess and monitor their schools' health environments. Use of this website can assist school districts to comply with the federally mandated Local Wellness Policy (LWP). School districts can use this website tool to:
• Assess the current status of the school health environment.
• Develop/revise/LWP goals.
• Monitor implementation of the LWP.
• Provide documentation of the LWP implementation /progress.
Promote School Meals
Iowa’s Team Nutrition Program partnered with the University of Iowa to develop a school meal campaign for parents and school staff, “It’s Not Just School Lunch….It’s Bigger Than That.”
This webpage contains resources about school meals including frequently asked questions, healthy eating tips for at home, school meal promotional templates, and classroom activities.
Dayle Hayes, an award winning presenter from Montana partnered with the Iowa Team Nutrition program to hold a webinar about comfortable cafeterias. The webinar described how to provide an atmosphere that encourages students to select healthy foods choices and offered tips on how to get students to eat them. The webinar shares ideas on how foodservice staff, as well as administrators, teachers, parents, wellness team members, etc. can support comfortable cafeterias.
- An integrated school, parent, and community approach can enhance the health and well-being of Iowa students. Iowa Team Nutrition and Iowa Partners: Action for Healthy Kids have partnered to develop this guide to identify specific strategies and action that schools can take to increase community engagement in school wellness activities.
- Use this resources to organize a walking club or walk-to-school program at your school that will energize the entire community!
- The HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity.
- The Iowa Healthy Kids Act set physical activity requirements and nutritional content standards. The tool-kit offers tools and resources for schools as they work to implement the Iowa Healthy Kids Act and nutritional content standards.
- The Alliance for a Healthier Generation website provides a tool in selecting competitive food choice options for school a la carte and vending machines.
The guidelines provided by the Alliance differ from Healthy Kids Act guidelines which are specific to Iowa schools. Please note some of the major differences.
The product navigator gives suggestions, however each item selected must go through the nutrient calculator associated with the Healthy Kids Act. One great policy from the Alliance, is that competitive school foods meet these guidelines during “the extended school day,” which includes traveling to and from school, and time before, during, or after activities, clubs or practices when students are still in the building. This could be a great addition to a wellness policy that goes beyond Healthy Kids Act “from first to last bell,” rules.
- Sample Wellness Policy was developed in partnership with Iowa Association of School Boards, Iowa Partners: Action for Healthy Kids, and Iowa Department of Education.
- 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). The intent is to strengthen local school wellness policies so they become useful tools in evaluating, establishing and maintaining healthy school environments, and to provide transparency to the public on key areas that affect the nutrition environment in each school.
- Action for Healthy Kids is an organization that is charged with addressing the crisis of childhood overweight and obesity. Iowa Partners: Action for Healthy Kids partners represent education, healthy, nutrition, local school districts, and non-profit groups
- 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.
This Get Movin’ card set created by the Iowa Department of Public Health provides simple, short activities designed to be done in the classroom to help students achieve 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Physical activity in the classroom helps activate the brain, improve on-task behavior during academic instruction time, and increases daily, in-school physical activity levels among children. Energizers provide short bursts of physical activity while reinforcing academic concepts. Stories in Motion are short pieces of creative writing that include action words which prompt bursts of physical activity. JAMmin’ Minutes® make activity a daily habit for students, one minute at a time.
- National Dairy Council school program that encourages the availability and consumption of nutrient rich foods, along with at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
- Free, 10 weeks program for students to help them learn and apply healthy eating and physically active behaviors. The program runs from January through April. Resources and monetary incentives are available to schools who participate.
- The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led public effort that will engage Iowans and their communities throughout the state. It will involve individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector in a broad-based community-focused effort.
- Iowans Fit for Life is a joint statewide initiative between the Iowa Department of Public Health and its partners that promotes increased opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating for Iowans of all ages
Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Health Services in conjunction with IPTV and Iowa Partners: Action for Healthy Kids provided information on policy development. A panel of school administrators and staff presented information in the live broadcast in two of the ICN sessions.