Healthy Schools - Healthy Students Newsletter - April 2016

Iowa Department of Education

April 2016

Healthy Schools 

Healthy Students


Brain Break Resource

DOE - Brain Breaks

We have a large quantity of printed copies of Get Movin' Activity Breaks, developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health. If you are interested in FREE copies for teachers within your school please e-mail with the number you would like and address to mail them. Target audience is elementary students.

Interested in a School Wellness Coach?

DOE - Nutrition Team

Is your school district working to provide a healthy school environment and meet the Smart Snacks and Local Wellness Policy regulations?  Iowa Team Nutrition is offering Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Wellness Coach assistance to 30 school districts to meet the Local Wellness Policy and Smart Snacks regulations. The RDN Coach will provide 3 visits per district during fall 2016.  
Deadline to apply: April 15th. 
Contact: Patti Delger

On-Line Super Tracker

SuperTracker Groups & Challenges USDA's Super Tracker has been updated with new features that offer teachers a way to create student groups and challenges that encourage healthy eating and physical activity through friendly competition.

Lunchroom Sub-Grants

DOE - Solon Original

The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement uses evidence based, simple, low and no-cost changes to lunchrooms which can improve school meal participation and profits while decreasing waste. The movement includes a scorecard that can help determine areas of improvement.

Interested in making some changes? 
Team Nutrition is offering $250 sub-grants to schools that have completed the scorecard and have identified areas of improvement. 
Deadline to apply: April 15.

Technical Assistance Opportunity - Fall 2016!

Iowa Team Nutrition is partnering with the University of Iowa (UI) to train foodservice front-line staff at 6 middle schools on Smarter Lunchroom Behavior Economics including how to dialog with students in a way that encourages them toward choosing
healthier options, as well as how to select a reimbursable meal. UI staff will make three visits to each school. The deadline to apply is April 22. For an application or for more information contact
Patti at

Walking/Running Clubs

Walking Clubs, also known as Mileage Clubs, are simple and fun ways to incorporate more physical activity into a student’s day. They can happen before school, during recess or as part of an after-school program. And the best part, according to Ashley Christensen who coordinates walking programs in NE Iowa schools, "Kids go crazy over them!" Spring is a great time to start a walking or running club in your school.  Check out the Walking Works in School resource to get some ideas on how to start!

Cafeteria Coaching at Howard-Winn!

cafeteria coaching

High school students visited Crestwood Elementary on Wednesday, March 16 to encourage students to eat a healthy lunch. Students were encouraged to try foods they probably wouldn't have tried that's on their lunch trays.

The Food Service staff at Howard-Winn puts together menus that include items they want the students to try, however, they also pair the items with foods they know the students really like, so they will not leave their entire lunch trays untouched on any given day.

Cafeteria coaching really helps when you see the older kids come in and promote healthy eating, showing the younger kids that these foods aren’t scary. For more information contact, Cheryl Dickman at

Students Put a Fun Spin on Menu Names!

DOE - Lunchrooms

Sumner-Fredricksburg is working with the University of Iowa (UI) as part of a Team Nutrition grant to implement Smarter Lunchroom changes.  A team of students have been meeting with UI and their food service director, Nancy Wegner to complete the Smarter Lunchroom Scorecard and develop an action plan to implement "smarter" changes. One of the action steps was to develop creative names for menu items.  They now serve Big Bad Baked Beans, Grand Garlic Broccoli, Frescura Picked Apple, Glamorous Grapes, Totally Rad Romaine Salad, Over-the-Top Tator Tots, Bodacious Banana, Flashy Fresh Baby Carrots, Crack Me Up Corn, Practically Perfect Peaches, Atomic Asparagus, and more!  Check out their menu! For more information, contact Nancy