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School Wellness


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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.

School Wellness Resources

Healthy Schools - Healthy Students 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

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 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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

Nutrition Education

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 26, 2016 at 8:25am.