The following tools have been developed to help school nutrition programs communicate effectively with the school staff, parents and the community about the needs and value of the child nutrition program. Each tools is to be edited and customized to meet specific school needs.
Build a Healthy Lunch Reimbursable Meal Identification System
Iowa Team Nutrition has developed this reimbursable meal identification kit to assist students in selecting their meal choices and will reduce unintentional purchase of food items not included in the reimbursable meal. The kit was designed to help identify foods that are part of the reimbursable meal for the day at the near or beginning of the serving line (s) and allow schools to be in compliance of the "Identification of Reimbursable Meals" regulation that is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
- Build a Healthy Lunch Poster
- Build a Healthy Lunch Poster v.2
- Today's Menu Poster
- Today's Menu Poster v.2
- Build a Healthy Lunch Dry Erase Board (24 x 14 inches)
- Colored Tray (.jpeg)
- Mini Tray Sign (.jpeg)
- Menu Blank Sheet
- Menu Blank Sheet in Color
- Build a Healthy Lunch Today's Menu Poster in PPT Slide For Cafeteria Monitors
- Mini Tray with Components to Customize Tray
- Component Graphics (.jpeg files): Fruits, Vegetables, Meats/Meat Alternates, Grains, Fluid Milk
Build Healthy Lunch Elementary Lessons and Activities:
Elementary Lesson: This lessons explains the “Build a Healthy Lunch” signage in the cafeteria and is a great way to show support for the school meal program in the classroom.
Coloring Sheet: Students can color all the foods, cut them out, and paste them in the correct part of the tray to match the meal component.
Coloring Contest: Hold a coloring contest where students draw the food items in each of the meal component sections to build their favorite school lunch menu.
Cafeteria Coaching Resources
Cafeteria Coaching is a program developed by Northeast 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. A webinar was held in partnership with Laura Liechty from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
- Presentation Slides (.pptx)
- Presentation Slides Handouts (.pdf)
- Youth Training Outline
- Sub-Grant Application
- School Nutrition Professional Documentation
- Cafeteria Coaching Manual
- Webinar Recording
- What if my schools are not close together?
Find a variety of resources to promote your school meals program -- from menu cycle templates and recipes, to step-by-step toolkits for you to use to host events and activities focused on school lunch.
- Saydel Newsletter Article - Reimbursable Meals
- Bulletin Board and Signage Templates and Ideas
- Cooking Contest
- Engaging Student and Parents (including survey)
- Fuel Up to Play 60 Menu Templates
- FREE Posters, Stickers, and Nutrition Education Resources
- High School Classroom Debate on the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
- How to Run a Taste Test
- Newsletter Articles and Template
- Food Service Director Feature Article Template
- School Lunch Presentation Template
- School Nutrition Webpage Template
- School Menu Templates - Developed by Texas Department Agriculture
- Take Your Parents to Lunch
Building Healthy School Lunches Videos - Four videos available to assist in communicating changes in the school lunch program. Each four- to seven-minute video is targeted to a different age group: elementary, middle school, high school, and adults.
- The School Day Just Got Healthier - Information on the Changes to School Meals
- How Can I Get More Involved with Meals at My Child’s School?
- Busting School Lunch Myths
- School Meals: Challenges and Opportunities
- School Meals: Questions and Concerns from Parents
- Join the Conversation about School Lunch
- Healthy Food Ideas: School Snacks, Celebrations, & Family Events
- Cost Comparison of Meals from Home and School Lunch
- Get Active - color postcard Get Active - black and white postcard
- Get the Facts - color postcard
- It's Better Nutrition - color postcard
- It's Trying a New Vegetable (Kale) - color postcard It's Trying a New Vegetable (Kale) - black and white postcard
Iowa Parent School Lunch Report - The University of Iowa Public Policy Center and University of Iowa College of Public Health conducted a study to determine Iowa parents' knowledge and perceptions of the school lunch program and the new school meal patterns as defined by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Iowa parents of school-aged children were surveyed online to assess attitudes, beliefs and practices in regards to the school lunch program at their child's school. View the full report.