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Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity. Go to USDA's Team Nutrition website for more information:

Team Nutrition's Goal is to improve children's lifelong eating and physical activity habits by using the principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and ChooseMyPlate.


Iowa Team Nutrition Grants

Currently the Iowa Department of Education is implementing two technical assistance/training grants (Team Nutrition 2011-2013 Grant and Team Nutrition 2012-2014 Grants). The training grants allow the Iowa Department of Education to support Team Nutrition programs in schools, child care and summer food service programs across the state by providing:

  • Training and technical assistance for Child Nutrition foodservice professionals to help them serve meals that look good, taste good and meet nutrition standards.
  • Multifaceted, integrated nutrition education for youth and their parents. This education builds skills and motivation for youth to make healthy food and physical activity choices as part of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Support for healthy eating and physical activity by involving school administrators and other school and community partners.


When USDA Team Nutrition Grant funding is available to the Iowa Department of Education, up to $500 mini-grants are available to assist schools/programs that want to enhance nutrition education, link nutrition and physical activity options, make policy changes regarding food and physical activity or conduct events to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Guidance on Acceptable Team Nutrition Expenditures


Join the Team for Schools

Becoming a Team Nutrition School will help you focus attention on the important role nutritious school meals, nutrition education and a health-promoting environment play in helping students learn to enjoy healthy eating and physical activity. It will provide the framework for team efforts by school nutrition staff, teachers, parents, the media and other community members. As a new Team Nutrition School, you will receive resources both from USDA and the state of Iowa to help you plan and carry out activities for your students and their families.

We look forward to having you JOIN THE TEAM!

Go to the online Team Nutrition enrollment form found at, to enroll your school as a new “Team Nutrition School”, or to update information.

After you enroll online, please forward the confirmation email to either Patti Delger ( or Carrie Scheidel (, so they can enter your school into the Iowa Team Nutrition data base.  Your newly enrolled school will receive a large Iowa Team Nutrition banner for the cafeteria, monthly e-newsletters containing training information, available resources, and mini-grant opportunities.

Join the Team for Child Care and Summer Food Service Programs

Becoming a Team Nutrition child care or summer food service program, will help you focus attention on the important role nutritious child care/summer food service meals, nutrition education and a health-promoting environment play in helping children/students learn to enjoy healthy eating and physical activity. It will provide the framework for team efforts by nutrition staff, teachers, parents, the media and other community members. As a new Team Nutrition Program, you may receive resources both from USDA and the state of Iowa to help you plan and carry out activities for your children/students and their families.

We look forward to having you join the team!

Team Nutrition Program Enrollment Form

Team Nutrition E-Newsletters


HealthierUS School Challenge

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. Application materials, promotional materials and training/technical assistance resources are available at

In February 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama introduced Let's Move!, incorporating the HealthierUS School Challenge into her campaign to raise a healthier generation of kids. At that time, monetary incentive awards became available for each HUSSC award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Award of Distinction.

Schools may submit applications by US mail or online to the Iowa Department of Education for review, who will then forward the applications onto USDA.

Clarification for PE/Activity Criteria for HUSSC Elementary Schools – PE Clarification
Up to 20 minutes (Bronze/Silver) and 45 minutes (Gold/Gold of Distinction) of the PE requirement may be met by providing structured physical activity planned by a certified PE teacher and implemented by a classroom teacher or school administrator.

Contact Patti Delger at or Jane Heikenen at if you have any HUSSC questions or need additional information.

Iowa schools that have received HealthierUS School Challenge Awards

HealthierUS School Challenge 101 Webinar - The February 5, 2013 webinar provides a general overview of the 2012 HealthierUS School Challenge criteria, shares common challenges and solutions, and highlights a local food service director who has submitted an award application. The new criteria include a requirement for 6-cent certification. Once your school is certified for 6-cents, you are on the right track, and applying for the HUSSC award is an opportunity to showcase the great work your district is doing to provide a healthy school environment.


Healthier CACFP Award

The Healthier Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Award is a recognition system that supports the wellness efforts of child care centers and homes participating in CACFP. Child care centers and homes taking steps to improve the nutrition, physical activity, nutrition education and/or environment for children in their care can apply to win an award in one or more of these categories. Three award levels are offered: Honors, High Honors and Highest Honors.


School Resources

Iowa Gold Star Cycle Menus - Available for all schools to incorporate fully or partially into their school meals program. The 5-week, seasonal menus offer increased whole grains, fruits and vegetables and legumes, optional locally grown produce, and healthy USDA Foods.

School Wellness Community Guide - 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.

Walking Works for Schools Tool-Kit - Walking is a form of exercise accessible to just about everybody. It's safe, simple and doesn't require practice. Use this resource to organize a walking club or walk-to-school program at your school that will energize your entire school community.

Fruit and Vegetable Bar Guide - Fruit and vegetable bars have the potential to improve nutrition and increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes and assist schools in meeting the new meal pattern requirements set forth in the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act. Utilize this guide as a resource when implementing fruit and vegetable bars in your district.

Move for Thought Kit - Designed to help children increase their physical activity levels during the school day, as well as to help teachers facilitate learning and academic achievement. The kit can be used to assist in meeting your Healthy Kids Act physical activity minutes and your Healthier US School Challenge physical activity minutes (if planned in partnership with the physical education teacher).

Stories in Motion - Short stories that include action words which prompt bursts of physical activity! Utilize these stories in your classroom for short physical activity breaks.

Electronic Health Messages for Schools - Fifty-six student-generated effective health messages for middle and high school students can be downloaded and displayed in your school cafeteria or classrooms.

The messages include information on how to make healthy food choices, and how to become physically active.  The health messages are available in JPEG, PowerPoint and video formats.

Being a Role Model for School Wellness - Adults by their actions serve as role models to students often without realizing it. School personnel, parents, and other adults that students come in contact with regularly are powerful role models when it comes to nutrition and physical activity. Students joining adults in action will support the district's wellness environment. The following tools are resources that can assist you in being a role model for school wellness.

Student Led Activity Ideas - The links below provide a variety of ideas that students and others interested in fostering healthier nutrition and physical activity habits and promoting overall wellness might want to consider as ideas for use in their local schools. The ideas listed below were developed as part of a graduate student assignment at Iowa State University, by Christine Clarahan and Erin Tiffany.

Wellness Challenges and Solutions - A handout listing common school wellness challenges along with suggested solutions compiled from middle school students who attended the Super Power Summits. The handout can be shared with students, administrators, school wellness committees and others in a school or community to help implement some of the student suggested solutions to further school wellness efforts.


Fact Sheets for Healthier School Meals - Developed by USDA for school foodservice professionals, these fact sheets offer strategies for purchasing, preparing, and serving meals consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These resources can also be found at .


CACFP Resources

Snacks from A to Z

CACFP Healthy Menu Makeover Online Learning Module - This online training module includes nine lessons that provide information about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The lessons explain how the Dietary Guidelines for Americans apply to work in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), includes best practice examples, and provides helpful resources. A certificate for 4 hours of continuing education in CDA content area: Planning a Safe, Healthy Learning Environment is awarded upon completion of all lessons.

CACFP Nutrition and Physical Activity Card Sets- A series of cards provides hands on suggestions to help childcare providers implement the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The resources were developed to make it easy to include health-enhancing components in childcare.

Stories in Motion - Physical Activity Breaks - Stories in Motion are short stories that include action words which prompt bursts of physical activity! Utilize these stories in your child care for short physical activity breaks.

Healthy Menu Planning Checklist-CACFP

CACFP Operational Considerations Presentation

Creating a Healthy Child Care Environment Presenation

Dietary Guildlines and Menu Recommendations Presentation

The Role of the Meals Program Presentation

Broccoli and Cheese Frittata

Fresh Fruit with Strawberry Yogurt Dip

Multiple CACFP Recipes

Oatmeal-Whole Wheat Raisin Cookies

Sweet Potato Coins


Workshops and Contests

Students “Taking Charge” of Their Health - Iowa’s Team Nutrition program along with the Iowa Department of Public Health’s I-STEP tobacco prevention program partnered to hold a state-wide high school student Students Taking Charge wellness event, on April 4th at the YMCA Camp in Boone, Iowa. Approximately 150 students and teachers from 30 schools learned how to become advocates for healthy eating, physical activity, and tobacco prevention. The students learned about recent changes to school lunch, went on a hike, participated in breakout sessions, and built a human bar graph depicting the top causes of death, which includes obesity and tobacco use. See videos of the human bar graph and student interviews from the workshop.

Super Power Summit - Each year Team Nutrition partners with Iowa Partners: Action for Healthy Kids, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Midwest Dairy to hold a Super Power Summit.

On October 10, 2013 Approximately 150 students and teachers from across Iowa learned how eating right and staying active bring out their super powers during the Annual Super Power Summit in Des Moines. The event provided wellness information that students and teachers can take back to their own schools. Students also participated in a one-kilometer walk as part of the Governor’s Healthiest State Initiative to demonstrate Iowa’s commitment to build a healthier state. Following the walk, the students ate lunch at the Capitol, followed by a short tour. See photos from Super Power Summit 2013 and Super Power Summit 2012.

Youth in Action for a Healthy Iowa Video Contest

Madeline George and Natalie Ervolino, two middle school students from George Washington Middle School in the Dubuque Community School District, produced a video, "Our Healthy School", and were selected as the winners of the Iowa Team Nutrition Youth in Action for a Healthy Iowa video contest.

The video contest, offered to middle and high school students, required submissions to showcase how their school makes it easy to be healthy. Madeline and Natalie highlighted how their school promotes healthy eating and exercise. Madeline and Natalie commented, "The units in gym change about every two weeks to keep the students interested and want to keep trying their best and participating" and "Every day the school offers fresh fruit and vegetables."

George Washington Middle School was one of fourteen schools to submit video entries. The runner-up videos were submitted by students from Newell Fonda, West Monona, Maquoketa Valley, Gilbert and Dubuque schools. All winning schools will receive monetary awards to support their school wellness efforts.

The panel of judges included Iowa Partners: Action for Healthy Kids, a non-profit organization working to address childhood obesity by working with schools to improve nutrition and physical activity.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on April 18, 2014 at 12:47pm.