May Healthy Schools - Healthy Students

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Healthy Schools
Banana smile

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:

Flexibilities in School Meals

Sonny Perdue Signing Proclamation

On May 1st, Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide flexibility in nutrition requirements for school meal programs. The specific flexibilities are:

Whole grains: USDA will allow states to grant exemptions to schools experiencing hardship in serving 100 percent of grain products as whole-grain rich for School Year 2017-2018.

Sodium: For School Years 2017-2018 through 2020, schools will not be required to meet Sodium Target 2. Instead, schools that meet Sodium Target 1 will be considered compliant.

Milk: Schools will be allowed to serve 1 percent flavored milk through the school meals programs. Currently, if flavored milk is served, it must be fat-free. 

Additional guidance will be released once available.

USDA Press Release
Secretary Perdue's Proclamation

Physical Education at West Elementary

West Elementary

Mark Jungmann, teacher at West Elementary in North Polk Community School District, takes Physical Education to a whole new level. On one particular day, the gym was transformed into a camp site. Students worked in teams to complete the task of each station such as fishing, finding firewood, attacking wild animals, hiding food from a bear and camping under the stars.

Mark stays connected with the Iowa Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and has attended national conferences to stay abreast with emerging ideas and teaching techniques. Social media has been an avenue not only for him to learn from others across the country, but also for him to share his ideas with others.  Check out the full story!  Find West Elementary PE on Twitter and Facebook!

Energy Drinks

Buzz on Energy Drink image

According to the National Institutes of Health males between the ages of 18 and 34 years consume the most energy drinks, and almost one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years drink them regularly.

Caffeine is the major ingredient in most energy drinks—a 24-oz energy drink may contain as much as 500 mg of caffeine (similar to that in four or five cups of coffee). Caffeine use may be associated with palpitations, anxiety, sleep problems, digestive problems, elevated blood pressure, and dehydration.

If energy drinks are popular at your school, it's important to educate students about the danger of consuming too much caffeine, including energy drinks.

Energy Drink Lesson - Utah

The Buzz on Energy Drinks - CDC

National Institutes of Health Information

Dairy Farm Tour Video

Kids at a dairy farm

Fuel Up to Play 60 student ambassadors from across the Midwest had their first-ever farm tour at a family-owned dairy farm in Iowa. Follow along with Olivia E. from Waverly-Shell Rock as she milks a cow, visits the milking parlor and feeds calves. This is just one of the many examples of student leadership opportunities that is made possible through Fuel Up to Play 60. 

Share this 5 minute video with students to make the farm to school connection!

Middle School Health Starts Here Program

Middle School Starts Here

Schools are working to help rising middle schoolers
become as healthy as possible. The Middle School Health
Starts Here program can help parents and school nurses
navigate the changes of this special age and time in children’s lives.

Tween health for 11-12-year-old children brings a new stage of health questions. The Middle School Health Starts Here webpage can help answer your questions about the twists and turns to becoming a teen. Visit the Middle School Health Starts Here website for more information.

Summer Meals Outreach Materials

Summer Food Flyer

Promotional materials to support your summer meals outreach efforts in the community are available on the No Kid Hungry website and include the following templates: flyers, posters, postcards, business cards, yard signs, banners, bookmarks, and frequent flyer cards.

Fuel Up to Play 60 - School Wellness Funds

Fuel up to play 60 logo

The online application for Fuel Up to Play 60 funding is now available! Each K-12 school enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Program is eligible for up to $4000 to help with their wellness initiatives. The competitive, nationwide funding program is designed to support schools that implement plays from the 2017-2018 edition of the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook. Plays can include Farm to School-Know Your Food, In-Class Physical Activity Breaks, and more! 

Whether you are just starting out with Fuel Up to Play 60, or looking to expand and extend an initiative that’s already in motion, funding opportunities for Fuel Up to Play 60 can help! The deadline to apply is June 14th!  To learn more visit or contact Jen Ransom at

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.