May Healthy Schools - Healthy Students Newsletter

Healthy Schools - Healthy Students

School Lunch Hero Day!

May 3rd was a national celebration in honor of the hard working individuals who prepare healthy meals for students every school day. Here is a photo from Dubuque Community School District showcasing their School Lunch Heroes!

go the distance

Go the Distance May


This free event, celebrating active and healthy kids, can take place any time from May 1-31. School events can include obstacle courses, fitness stations, nature hikes, dancing, & more!

It’s easy to get involved!
1. Plan your 30-minute event
2. Register online
3. Share your event and be eligible to win cash prizes!

Live Healthy Iowa Kids will award 1-$500 and 2-$250 cash prizes for Go The Distance May! To be eligible, share your registered event on social media, tagging Live Healthy Iowa and using #GoTheDistanceMay, or submit photos via email to

lending library

Lending Library

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation has agriculture lesson plans, books, DVDS, CDs, posters, kits, games, and more! Items are free to borrow; schools just pay return shipping.

Put in a request for materials today!

Explore Iowa's Outdoors with 99 Parks Initiative



The State of Iowa announced the launch of its new effort encouraging residents and visitors alike to explore Iowa’s outdoors. The “99 Counties, 99 Parks” initiative features one county conservation-managed park in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Individuals are encouraged to visit Travel Iowa to browse parks to see what features they offer.

The Family Fun Guide includes a variety of activities, including recipes, a scavenger hunt, art projects, geocaching,  and creating nature sculptures. Many of the parks include “selfie stands” where visitors can take photos and share their experiences on social media using #ThisIsIowa or #99parks.

5-2-1-0 Action Guide


You may have heard of 5-2-1-0, but are not sure how to get started. The Iowa Healthiest State Initiative has created a 5-2-1-0 Action Guide to help go through the process, help assess your site and provide the resources and tools to create and implement an action plan to meet your unique goals.

Step 1: Engage

Step 2: Register

Step 3: Implement

Step 4: Share

Step 5: Check-in

5210 action guide

SWITCH - School Wellness Program



SWITCH was developed to help schools plan, implement, and sustain effective school wellness programs. Resources and training have been refined through a USDA funded study and SWITCH will now be widely disseminated across the state in partnership with the ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H program. 

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a SWITCH school contact Laura Liechty (

School Nutrition Summer Short Courses

The Bureau of Nutrition and Health Services and ISU Extension and Outreach will be offering workshops for school nutrition employees this summer.

  • Financial Management - June 11th Scheman Building, Ames
  • Procurement Basics - June 12 Scheman Building, Ames
  • Food Safety in Schools - June 13 Scheman Building, Ames
  • Dollars and Sense - June 25-26 Indianola Middle School
  • Managers Update - June 27 FFA Enrichment Center, Ankeny
  • Healthy Meals Workshop - July 30-31 FFA Enrichment Center, Ankeny
  • New Manager Orientation - July 30 - Aug 1 FFA Enrichment Center, Ankeny
  • Culinary Skills for Healthy Meals - Aug 1 Iowa Culinary Institute, Ankeny

For more information or to register visit the ISU Extension and Outreach website.

Upcoming State Conferences

SNAI (School Nutrition of Iowa) Annual Conference

Grand Harbor Resort, Dubuque: June 17 -19

Visit School Nutrition of Iowa for more info or to register.

Contact: Cathy

Iowa Farm to School Conference

Central College, Pella: June 21-22

Visit ISU Extension for more info or to register.

Contact: Lynn

IAHPERD (Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance)

Waukee High School: June 25-28th

Visit IAPHERD for more info or to register.

Contact: Jennifer

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Summer Meals

The Summer Food Service Program is a great opportunity to provide students in low-income areas with nutritious meals and snacks when they are not in school. There are many summer food service sites across Iowa, but they are often underutilized simply because children are not aware that these feeding sites exist. Find out if there is a summer food program in your school or neighboring school and promote the opportunity to your students and their families. Visit Summer Food Rocks to find a meal site near you.

Ace the Waste! Food Waste Contest for Students


USDA is launching Ace the Waste! A student competition that calls on students to come up with creative solutions to reduce food loss and waste in the United States.

Topic ideas for the proposal include:

  • Preventing food waste
  • Recovering wholesome, excess food to feed people
  • Recycling food scraps to keep them out of landfills
  • Raising awareness

Students may submit 1-2 page proposals or 1-2 minute videos. Proposals will be judged on impact potential; originality and creativity; clarity of expression; and adherence/appropriateness to theme. One winner will be selected from each of two categories – ages 11-14 and ages 15-18. The deadline for proposals is Friday, May 24. For more information visit  Ace the Waste!

May Feature