March Healthy Schools - Healthy Students March Newsletter

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



Healthy Schools

 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

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Start a Running Program at Your School this Spring!

crocker cruiser

Help students add more physical activity to their school day with a recess running program or a before/afterschool running club! These programs require very little equipment and minimal costs. Volunteer involvement is essential, so make sure to involve parents in the planning. Check out how Iowa schools are making it happen!

Mary Greely Mileage Club (Ames and surrounding schools)

Crocker Cruisers (Crocker Elementary - Ankeny CSD) 

Kid Striders (Carver Elementary - Des Moines Public Schools)

Congratulations to Pierce Elementary - Cedar Rapids!

Pierce Elementary

Pierce Elementary in Cedar Rapids was recognized for advancing efforts to improve the physical, social, and emotional well-being of Iowans by being selected as the 2018 Healthiest State Initiative School Award Winner! They received $5,000 to continue their work to make the healthy choice the easy choice for their students and staff! Way to go Pierce Elementary!

2018 Healthiest State School Winner Video!

Iowa Nutrition Network Grant Funding Opportunity

Pick a Better Snack Image

The Iowa Department of Public Heath Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Iowa Nutrition Network School Grant Program is open for applications. The program includes funding for Pick a better snack nutrition education lessons by an outside educator for K-3 students.

Applicants will apply for a 6-year project period beginning October 1, 2018. Priority schools are those with high percentages of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals. To learn more and apply, go to For more information, contact Suzy at

School Nutrition Summer Training Opportunities

Katie Wilson

Iowa Department of Education's Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are partnering to hold school meal trainings this summer. Descriptions and registration can be found at:

Procurement Basics - June 5

ServSafe - June 19

HACCP 101 - June 20

Manager Update - June 28
Keynote speaker: Dr. Katie Wilson has 30 years administrative experience with school nutrition serving as a Program Director, Executive Director of the Institute for Child Nutrition and USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Nutrition and Consumer Services.

Healthy School Meals (July 31 - August 1)

New Manager Orientation (July 31 - August 2)

Questions? Contact Jean

ISTEP Summit: Tobacco Prevention MS/HS Students


Registration is underway for the ISTEP Summit being held April 17 at DMACC in Ankeny. The summit is for 7-12 grade students interested in learning how to step up against tobacco and make a difference in their community and state. The summit is free and students will have the opportunity to make friends, make a difference, and make themselves a leader! Learn more about ISTEP and register today!  

Action for Healthy Kids Grants - Deadline April 6th


School Breakfast Grants: $2,000 - $3,000 (must have a free and reduced percentage of 40% or greater).

Game On Grants: $500 - $1,000 (all schools are encouraged to apply, however schools with 50% or higher free and reduced percentage may receive priority).

Parents for Healthy Kids Grants: up to $1,000 (all schools are encouraged to apply, however schools with 50% or higher free and reduced percentage may receive priority).

Questions? Contact Ashley at

What's New in School Nutrition March Webinar

Team Nutrition

Team Nutrition is the March topic for this webinar series. Team Nutrition provides training and technical assistance for school nutrition directors and staff, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity. Team Nutrition provides curricula, posters, parent handouts, and other resources free-of-charge to schools. Learn about Team Nutrition resources including an overview of School Wellness and Smart Snack requirements to support the school wellness environment at your school. March 26th 2-3pm. Click here to register!

Showcase Your Farm to School Work!

Iowa Farm to School Conference

The Iowa Farm to School Coalition is pleased to invite individuals and groups to submit presentation proposals for the 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference to be held June 29th in Ankeny. The goal of the conference is to support and inspire those interested in or already implementing farm to school and farm to early care and education all around the state by covering a variety of topics. Please take this opportunity to share your expertise and creative ideas to help grow the farm to school movement in Iowa. Submission deadline is March 31st
Proposal Template  Proposal Google Form  Questions? Contact

HealthierUS School Challege Award Program Ending

healthier us school challenge award

As part of USDA’s commitment to ensure that programs are delivered efficiently and effectively, and to avoid duplicating the efforts of the private sector, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service will no longer be accepting applications for the HealthierUS School Challenge Award Program, effective July 1, 2018.

USDA will continue to work with schools during this phase-out period and provide support as they close-out the application process. Any applications submitted to State agencies by June 30, 2018 will be reviewed for approval. The USDA National Office will announce the final set of awards by December 31, 2018.

If you are interested in applying for this award before the end of the school year, please contact Carrie for technical assistance.

March is National Nutrition Month

The theme for 2018 is "Go Further with Food" and encourages us to achieve the numerous benefits healthy eating habits offer while also urging us to find ways to cut back on food waste. The campaign promotes learning how to manage food resources at home and will help you ‘Go Further with Food,’ while saving both nutrients and money. #NationalNutritionMonth

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - Nutrition Month

nutrition month

Become a Fuel Up to Play 60 Touchdown School!

Midwest Dairy Council logo

650 Midwest Dairy Council School’s will score the opportunity to receive a prize pack valued at $200! To be eligible to be chosen for this reward, Fuel Up to Play 60 schools must check off all six milestone steps to reach Touchdown Status by April 1. Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy council and the NFL, in collaboration with the USDA! Learn more at! For assistance, contact Jen at