February Healthy Schools - Healthy Students Newsletter

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Healthy Schools
Heart on Skateboard

This monthly newsletter is published in partnership with Iowa Team Nutrition and Iowa Partners: Action for Healthy Kids and provides information on nutrition and physical activity programs, upcoming school wellness trainings and funding opportunities, and success stories from Iowa schools working to support healthy habits in their students and staff.

Carrie Scheidel - carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov

Iowa Department of Education - Bureau of Nutrition and Health

Are You Thinking About Summer Yet?

Summer Food Site

The Iowa Department of Education is seeking sponsors for a federally funded program that provides nutritious breakfast, lunch, and supper meals or snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months.

To qualify as a site, the facility must be either located in a low income neighborhood where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals or must serve primarily low income children.

A free informational webinar will be held on Feb. 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Click here for webinar registration. For more information contact Stephanie Dross at Stephanie.dross@iowa.gov.

National School Breakfast Week March 6-10th

School Breakfast Challenge Logo

"Take the School Breakfast Challenge” is the theme for National School Breakfast Week this year! This week encourages students, staff and school administrators to increase participation in school breakfast. It is also an opportunity to highlight how eating a nutritious breakfast can help students fuel up for success in the classroom and beyond.

Are you planning an event or celebration? We want to hear about! Please share by sending an e-mail to carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov.

Is Your School a Team Nutrition School?

Team Nutrition Banner

We invite schools to sign up as a Team Nutrition School to join a network of schools working towards healthier school nutrition and physical activity environments. Signing up is free and easy! 

Becoming a Team Nutrition School will affirm your school's commitment to help students make healthier food choices and be more physically active, allow your school to be the first to hear about new nutrition education and training materials; and provide the opportunity to be highlighted on social media and in print publications.

Sign Up up today or Search the Team Nutrition Schools Database to see if your school is enrolled or to update information.

We have a limited amount of Team Nutrition Banners. To request a banner(s) to display your school commitment to a healthy school environment please send an e-mail to carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov with quantity and shipping address.

USDA Foods "Show Us Your Tray" Photo Contest

School Lunch Tray

Submitting a photo is as easy as 1-2-3!

Step 1: Take a picture of your school meal. Do not include students. (Please ensure that photos are taken in good lighting in the highest resolution possible).

Step 2: Include your name, school district, state, and which items are USDA Foods in your email (Meals must contain direct delivered (brown box) USDA Foods).

Step 3: Send your photo to the USDAFoods@fns.usda.gov.

Contest ends at midnight on February 15th with the winner announced in the March, Spotlight on Schools e-letter. Questions? Contact Sarah White at sarah.white@iowa.gov.

School Garden 101 Workshop Series

Image of a school garden

ISU Extension and Outreach and Next Step Adventure are co-sponsoring a School Garden 101 Workshop! They will be partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as FoodCorp to facilitate this event. 

This hands-on workshop is for elementary, middle school or high school staff wanting to learn more about school gardens! This is a great opportunity for schools wanting to create, improve or even add to a vegetable or pollinator garden.

School Garden 101 will be held every Tuesday from February 7-March 7 in Altoona. Workshop participants must be in teams, and at least two team members must be at all 5 sessions. For more information contact Aubrey at aalvarez@eatgreaterdesmoines.org.

Cross Age Teaching Food Carnival

Food Carnival

A food carnival at New Hampton Community School district created a cross-aged learning opportunity. The high school foods class developed carnival games to play with preschool students to create a better understanding of healthy foods. Skills incorporated into the games included: categorizing food groups, trying new foods, understanding what foods are healthy, "choose this, not that," and learning about overall health.

For more information contact April Schmitt at a_schmitt@new-hampton.k12.ia.us.

Iowa Schools Can Order FREE Seedlings

Iowa Department of Natural Resources Logo

Iowa schools are encouraged to order Free Seedlings for Spring through the DNR Trees for Kids program. Each school building and community may order one free packet of 200 bare-root seedlings, 50 each of four selected species. The seedlings, delivered in April or May, are often used as part of Earth Day/Week celebrations. Interested schools and communities must complete a simple application form by April 1, 2017. For more information contact Laura Wagner at laura.wagner@dnr.iowa.gov.

"Incredibly Good Eggs" Recipe Contest

Iowa Egg Council Logo

The Iowa Egg Council would like to invite Iowa residents to participate in the “Incredibly Good Eggs” Recipe Contest! 

There will be two divisions for participants: Adults 19 and up and students grades 6 – 12. All recipes should be original and must contain a minimum of 4 eggs. Recipes will be judged equally on:  use of eggs, taste, originality and presentation.

The first place winner will receive $350, the second place winner will receive $250 and the third place winner will receive $150. To enter the recipe contest or for more information, visit www.iowaegg.org. Entries must be received by February 24, 2017. 

Healthy Hometown Program

Healthy Hometown Logo

Healthy Hometown℠ Powered by Wellmark offers new tools communities can use to make sustainable changes at the local level. Communities can receive help from experts in identifying and implementing a single community priority or determining to undergo a complete community transformation to make healthy choices available and easy for residents to adopt. 

Interested communities can submit a Healthy Hometown Statement of Interest available at Healthiest State Initiative website.

In addition, any Iowa community, worksite or school can also complete a self-assessment and receive insight, guidance and tools to make positive changes to their built environment, available at the Healthiest State Initiative

Questions? Contact Jami Haberl at Jami@iowahealthieststate.com.

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Twitter: @IAhealthyschool

Photo Credit: West Liberty Schools