December Healthy Schools - Healthy Students Newsletter

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



Healthy Schools

 This monthly newsletter provides information on nutrition and physical activity programs, 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 Email:

Physical Education & Health Standards

PE and Health Standards Input Needed

Iowa Department of Education is seeking the public’s input on proposed physical education and health standards. Feedback can be provided through a survey (open until Dec 20) and/or public forums (Dec. 4 and Dec. 6). For additional information and location of public forms visit the Iowa Dept of Education webpage.

Input gathered will be incorporated into the team’s final recommendations hoping to be presented to the State Board of Education for consideration next spring.

Become a 5-2-1-0 Registered Site Today!

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Schools, early child care providers, out-of-school programs and health care sites are invited to sign up as a 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! site and join an important network of sectors working towards healthier environments where young Iowans live, learn and play. Registered sites will be identified on a map won the Healthiest State Initiative webpage and will receive a window cling to promote their commitment. 

Registration is free and easy!

What's Happening Across the State?


Putting Zucchini on Schoolkids' A-List  and College of Public Health Builds Healthy Eating Habits in Rural SchoolsHighlighting the partnership with Iowa Department of Education and the University of Iowa College of Public Health on the Healthy Schools - Healthy Students evaluation project. 

Growing Healthy Habits with Mrs. Moore (Des Moines): Mrs. Moore is the Food Service Director at St. Augustin Catholic School, but it doesn't stop there! She educates the student about healthy choices and learning about different foods with their school gardening program. 

Clay Elementary: Iowa DNR held a Facebook live event featuring the food waste reduction efforts happening at SE Polk CSD, including sharing tables. 

Central High School: The Environmental Project Monitoring class teamed up with Turkey River Farms to collect over 300 Halloween pumpkins. The goal was divert organic waste from the landfill and feed livestock instead. 

Live Iowa Healthy Kids Track - Host a Meet in 2019!

Live Healthy Track Championships

The Live Healthy Iowa Kids Track Championships is a free event for 7-14 year olds that requires no special equipment to participate. Many communities partner with the school district to host a local meet making participating convenient. Local meet champions will have the opportunity to participate at the State Meet held in Marshalltown on June 22.

Why should you host a meet? 

“The LHI Kids Track Meet is the best way to introduce younger kids to track and field! Super easy to organize, a blast for the kids and always easy to find volunteers. The prospect of advancing to the State Meet makes it even more exciting for the kids. It’s a great way to encourage a healthy lifestyle at a young age!” – Teresa Beck, Volunteer Spirit Lake Noon Kiwanis (Spirit Lake, IA)

Local meets must be registered by March 31 and are to take place by May 31. For more information, go to or contact

Food as a Reward

Tip Sheet

Using food as a reward is so yesterday. Yes, kids like candy, but they love recognition, helping others, and special experiences. The most effective rewards fit naturally into the context and mission of the school community. Be a part of the change at your school.

Action for Healthy Kids has great tip sheet to get you started!

The start of the new year is right around the corner and provides an opportunity to make healthy changes at your school!

Funding Opportunities


2019 Youth Garden Grant: is offering 25 grants ranging from $575 - $2,175 that can support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance learning opportunities for students and their communities. Deadline: Dec. 17th.

Teacher Supplement Grant: Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation is offering grants for up to $200 to support teachers looking to incorporate agriculture into their classroom (i.e. classroom materials, incubator, microscopes, books, field trips, guest speakers, kits, or other education related goods. Deadline: Jan 9th. 

Upcoming Webinars

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Toolkit Webinar (Tues. Dec 4th - Noon): An overview of the toolkit that provides strategies, and resources to address the needs of children with I/DD so that the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count! program can work for each and every child in Iowa.

Integrating Classroom Physical Activity: Putting Strategies into Action (Tues, Dec. 4th 3-4pm): This webinar provides an an overview of evidence-based resources for educators, school staff, school partners, and other physical activity champions to promote, implement, enhance, and sustain classroom physical activity in their unique contexts.

Smart Snacks and Coffee Bars at Schools (Mon, Jan. 28th 2-3pm): Part of the Iowa Department of Education's News to Know in School Nutrition webinar series. 

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