November Healthy Schools - Healthy Students

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



Healthy Schools
gourds 2

 This monthly newsletter is published in partnership with Iowa Team Nutrition and Iowa Action for Healthy Kids and highlights nutrition, physical activity, and school wellness resources, trainings, funding opportunities, and success stories from Iowa schools working to support healthy habits.

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

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

Iowa 5210 - Healthy Choices Count!

5210 posters

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg announced a new statewide childhood health campaign called “5210 – Healthy Choices Count." The campaign is a public-private partnership with the Healthiest State Initiative and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to combat childhood obesity. 5210 is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that focuses on the importance of four simple daily health habits:

  • 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables;
  • 2 hours or less of screen time;
  • 1 hour or more of physical activity; and
  • 0 (or reduced) sugar-sweetened beverages.

For more information, visit the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative webpage! To promote 5-2-1-0, schools can request printed copies of the posters in the photo (11x17 inches). Please e-mail with the quantity and mailing address. Look for more ways to implement 5-2-1-0 in future newsletters!

Health & Wellness and School Improvement Plans

Guide for incorporating health and wellness into school improvement plans

Research supports the important connection between health and learning, showing that health-related barriers limit students’ ability and motivation to learn, and that improving access to healthy foods and physical activities can positively influence the health of students and improve academic achievement.

School improvement plans provide a key opportunity to consider the needs of the whole child when developing plans for strengthening student academic achievement. When health and wellness are incorporated into a school improvement plan, whether as a goal, strategy or as a part of supporting activities, they become part of the foundation of a district and/or school rather than an add-on or extra task. They are measured and tracked as a part of a school’s accountability system, and part of a systemic and cyclical process of review.

CDC has developed a resource, "A Guide for Incorporating Health and Wellness into School Improvement Plans" that can assist with this process.

Parents for Healthy Kids

Parents for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids and National PTA, with support from ALDI, have teamed up to create, a new website that teaches parents how to get involved in school health and wellness to create healthier schools where kids can thrive. The interactive site includes:

Like a Boss: everything you need to navigate the hallways of school health and wellness.

Hot Topics: physical activity & P.E., recess, snacks, fundraisers and policy.

A Community Forum: exchange ideas and connect with other parents.

Apply for an Iowa Healthiest State Award!

healthiest state iniaitive logo

Since overall health and well-being is greatly influenced by where we live, learn, work and play, the Healthiest State Initiative has created annual awards to recognize and, monetarily reward, workplaces, schools, communities and individuals for advancing efforts to improve the physical, social and emotional well-being of their employees, students and citizens.

Award applications are due by November 30, 2017. Three finalists will be recognized at an event on February 15, 2018, with one winner receiving financial compensation. For more information, visit

Meal Accomodation Webinar - November 27th

what's new image

The Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Act Amendments of 2008 made important changes to the meaning and interpretation of the term "disability" under the ADA and under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. After the passage of the Act, most physical and mental impairments will constitute a disability.

The November webinar, part of the monthly What's New in School Nutrition webinar series, will address the impact to School Nutrition programs, processes, and documentation. The webinar will be held on Monday, November 27th 2-3pm. Click here to register!

Intergrating Movement into the School Day Webinar

Action for Healthy Kids

Join Action for Healthy Kids on Wednesday, November 8th from 3-3:30pm to learn about integrating movement into a well-rounded education. Movement and physical activity boosts and activates the brain, improves on-task behavior, and leaves students more focused and ready to return to their academic activities. Hear examples from AFHK schools and create active classrooms through simple and manageable movement strategies, games and lesson ideas. Click here to register!

Students Helping to Shape School Lunches

What’s new with school lunch this year? In several school districts across the nation, this question is being answered by students themselves. Collaborations between school staff and students have resulted in school cafeterias that provide a welcoming environment for eating together, while offering healthy, appealing choices for their students. With the help of USDA Team Nutrition Training Grant funds, many states have created these changes and developed ways to include kids in menu planning, taste tests, cafeteria makeovers and more. To learn more, check out this recent USDA blog that features the work taking place in Michigan, Montana, and Iowa.

girl with school lunch tray

USDA Recipe of the Month!

Pumpkin Muffin Squares

Features: whole-wheat and enriched flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and canned pumpkin

Makes: 25-50 servings (CACFP), or 50-100 servings (schools)

Pumpkin squares