Healthy Schools - Healthy Students March Newsletter

Team Nutrition Iowa, Action for Healthy Kids Iowa, and Iowa Department of Education logos



Healthy Schools
Cucumbers shaped as a shamrock

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.

Stay Connected! Iowa Department of Education - Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services

Facebook: @healthyschoolsIA  Twitter: @IAhealthyschool E-mail:

National School Breakfast Week - March 6-10th

School Breakfast week logo

This week encourages schools to “Take the School Breakfast Challenge!” Take this time to review participation in your school’s breakfast program and get students excited about eating breakfast. Below are some ideas to celebrate!

Promote Breakfast: post signs around the school and utilize social media and daily announcements to get students interested and invested in eating breakfast each day. Have a coloring contest and invite a local athlete or celebrity to have breakfast with the students!

Engage Parents: post information on social media, in the school newsletter and on the school’s website about the importance of eating breakfast and the availability of breakfast at school. Hold a “Bring Your Parent to School Breakfast Day!”

Additional ideas and resources can be found at
Action for Healthy Kids and School Nutrition Association.

Food and Beverages Sold and Provided Guidance

picture of healthy snack list

The final School Wellness Policy Rule requires schools to only allow foods and beverages that meet Smart Snack Nutrition Standards to be sold to students, before school, during school, and 30 minutes after school.

In addition, schools must provide nutrition standards for foods and beverages, provided to students during the school day (e.g. classroom parties, foods given as reward, classroom snacks, etc.).

Below are some sample lists for snacks:


  • Sample Letter to Parents and Snack List 
  • Food Idea Tip Sheet
  • Foods Brought from Home Sample List
  • Healthy Snack List (Cedar Rapids CSD)

    For additional information, visit Iowa Department of Education's School Wellness Webpage or contact Carrie at

    Healthy Schools - Healthy Students Project


    Healthy Schools - Healthy Students Project, is an initiative of the Iowa Department of Education’s Team Nutrition Program that aims to empower elementary students through school-based nutrition education, healthy school environments, promotion of school meals, and engagement of school staff, parents, and the community.

    Schools that are selected will received a $1,000 sub-grant to support wellness activities. Additional funds will be available to deliver nutrition education and taste testing in 4th grade classrooms.  

    This project will begin next school year (17-18). Elementary schools will have the opportunity to apply to be a part of the project at the end of March.

    For more information or to be the first to see the application matierals please contact Carrie at More details will be included in the April newsletter!

    Pleasant Valley Schools are Meeting the Challenge!

    Pleasant Valley HUSSC Award

    Ann Feilmann, Bureau Chief of Nutrition and Health Services, presented 7 HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze Awards to the Pleasant Valley CSD Board of Education on February 27th at the school board meeting.

    The 7 schools winning the award are Bridgeview Elementary, Cody Elementary, Hopewell Elementary, Pleasant Valley Elementary, Riverdale Heights Elementary, Pleasant Valley Junior High, and Pleasant Valley High School.

    Along with the school board members,the awards were presented to Andrea Mahler, Food Service Director; Sam DenBeston, Bridgeview Elementary Food Service Employee; Kim Zupanic, Hopewell Elementary Nurse; and Joette Strobbe, Bridgeview Elementary Nurse.

    Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation Resources

    Iowa Ag Today Logo

    The latest issue of Iowa Ag Today from the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation has been mailed to 4th grade classrooms. This issue focuses on plants and animals as they are used for food, fiber, and energy. This is a great tool to teach science and language arts concepts. You can request printed copies by sending an e-mail to:

    In addition, their Lending Library is full of resources. There are books, CDs, DVDs, kits, posters, games, and more. Contact them at to check out resources for FREE!

    Fuel to Play 60 Touchdown School - $500!

    Midwest Dairy Council Logo

    Fuel Up to Play 60 is an school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy council and the NFL, in collaboration with the USDA. The Touchdown School Reward for the 2016-2017 school year is the eligibility to receive $500 for your school (550 schools in the Midwest will be awarded)!  

    To be eligible schools must check off all six milestone steps to reach Touchdown Status by April 1, 2017. It’s not too late to complete your six steps at! If you would like some helpful tips, please contact Jen Ransom at  

    Farm to You Calendar Contest

    Drawing of a Cow

    Iowa students (K-12) are invited to submit artwork to be considered for the “From the Farm to You” calendar. The calendars are distributed by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at the Iowa State Fair and include artwork that emphasizes the connection between the production of Iowa’s farmers and the products used by people.

    Students of all ages are invited to submit artwork. Pictures should be drawn using only black lines on plain white paper, 8 ½ by 11 inches. The pictures should not be colored. They can be submitted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Calendar Kids, 502 E. 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319. Drawings must be received by May 1, 2017 to be considered. On-line Version of Current Calendar

    March menu template

    Check out these customizable menu templates and activity sheets from Texas Department of Agriculture!