October School Wellness Newsletter

School Wellness
National School Lunch Week
linn-mar csd

Recognize your school meal program by celebrating National School Lunch Week (October 12-16th). The federally-funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP) has been fueling students for success for more than 70 years. The theme, “Now Playing: School Lunch!” puts the spotlight on the importance of a healthy school lunch in a child’s life.

  • Feature School Nutrition Staff on district communication channels throughout the week.
  • Hold a coloring contest for students, including those learning in school, hybrid or online.
  • Decorate the meal distribution area - serving line, hallway kiosk, or curb-side pick-up.
  • Serve items with a movie theme - Movie Night Popcorn Chicken or That’s a Wrap. 
  • Have a celebrity server! The principal, teacher, or high school students.

Additional promotional ideas and graphics can be found at the School Nutrition Association website. #NSLW2020 #SchoolLunch Photo: Linn-Mar CSD

Nevada CSD Nutrition Department Served
Locally Grown Watermelons for Lunch! 

The watermelons were started in their very own greenhouse by their FFA students then transplanted to Swanson Farms. What a sweet and healthy fruit option! For additional information, contact Billie Veach, Food Service Director - bveach@nevadacubs.org. 

Nevada Watermelons

Resources for Families and Communities

Return to Learn

The goal of these materials from the Department of Education is to cultivate a culture of preventative health and wellness now and beyond our current interruptions to education.

These support materials provide a basic understanding of how some illnesses spread and what can be done to prevent or reduce risk of spread including resources for teaching handwashing, cough/sneeze mitigation and social distancing. Return to Learn - Family & Community Health and Safety Strategies in School

SHAPE America Activity Calendars 

SHAPE America has monthly Activity Calendars available that provide daily ideas to incorporate physical activity as well as National Health Observances. The website has many other resources to support health education, physical education, physical activity and wellness. Visit: https://www.shapeamerica.org/ 


SWITCH Registration for 2020-21 Now Open! 


SWITCH ("School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health") is an innovative school wellness initiative designed to support and enhance school wellness programming.

Through SWITCH, schools can help students to "Switch what they Do, View, and Chew.” Schools are provided with resources, training and support, but have autonomy to run programming in ways that best fit their unique needs and goals. SWITCH is managed by 4-H Youth Development Program through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. 

Schools are encouraged to register for SWITCH soon, as spaces are limited! Please contact our program coordinator, Rachel Sweeney, rsweeney@iastate.edu with any questions. 

Healthy LifeStars Virtual Program

healthy life stars

Healthy LifeStars has created a Virtual Program to help partners continue to teach kids how to stay active, eat right and set personal goals. 

 The virtual lessons can be downloaded on any device and shared with students and their families. The materials can be utilized by parents or teachers, for instruction, as enhancements to on-line learning, or for fun to keep kids active! Most lessons have worksheets and Healthy Habit Parent Guides to reinforce the concepts. Healthy LifeStar Virtual Lesson Package and Overview Video

For additional information, please contact Iowa Healthy LifeStars Director, Vickie Miene at vickie-miene@uiowa.edu. 

Start Planning for Iowa Local Food Day 

iowa local food day

October is Farm to School Month, an annual campaign to recognize, appreciate and celebrate the connections happening across the country between kids, families and their community food systems.

In Iowa we celebrate each year by holding an Iowa Local Food Day on the 2nd Wednesday of October. This year the event will be held on October 14th. Sign up to participate today!

Looking for local foods? Check out the Iowa Farm to School Producer Directory

Questions? Contact Carrie Scheidel at carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov. 


October is Iowa Healthiest State Month

healthiest state month

The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative wants to make participating in Healthiest State Month fun and easy! They have developed Celebration Toolkits with resources and ideas for schools/child care, communities, health care sites and workplaces to celebrate each week of Healthiest State Month. 


Each week in the month of October will be dedicated to each of the individual numbers in 5-2-1-0:

  • October 5-9: Focus on 1 hour of physical activity each day
  • October 12-16: Focus on eating 5 fruits and vegetables each day.
    • Participate in Iowa Local Food Day, sponsored by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on October 14. 
  • October 19-23: Focus on 2 hours or less of recreational screen time.
    • Participate in a screen-free activity as a family.
  • October 26-30: Focus on drinking more water and 0 sugary drinks.
    • Water is fuel for your body. Drink more water! 
Virtual Summit

5-2-1-0 Summit: October 15th 9am - 3:30pm 

Learn from experts from across the state working to support healthy environments in the schools, early care, out-of-school programs, health care clinics and communities. Attendees will learn how to adopt strategies within their sector that support the healthy choice as the easy choice and create sustainable change. AGENDA  and REGISTRATION. 

Healthiest state awards

Success Stories 

USDA Summer Food Service Program
Helps Meet Nutritional Needs


School food service programs ramped up to ensure students and families had access to healthy meals during unanticipated school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A very special thank you to the school nutrition directors, school administrators, school staff and volunteers who have worked to serve an unprecedented number of meals to help keep our children fed during this time when schools are closed,” said Kala Shipley, bureau chief of the Iowa Department of Education’s Nutrition and Health Services. 

To read more, view the Iowa Department of Education Headline Article

For more information, contact Stephanie Dross at stephanie.dross@iowa.gov.

Iowa Department of Education

Carrie Scheidel - carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov
School Meals, School Wellness, & Farm to School

Lyn Jenkins - lyn.jenkins@iowa.gov
Physical Education, Physical Activity, & Health Education