February School Wellness Newsletter

School Wellness

Heart Healthy Valentines Fundraiser Ideas

Locker grams

- Single Stem Flowers

- Chapsticks/Lip Gloss 

- Scented Pens/Pencils 

- Balloon-O-Grams (balloon, personalized note,
& bottle of water wrapped in valentine décor)*

USDA Smart Snack Compliant Ideas:

- Sugar-Free Gum* (We are “mint” to be together)

- “Crush on You” - diet orange pop HS Only

- Clementines - “Cutie” oranges 

- Apples - “You are the apple of my eye”

- Frozen Fruit Bars (first ingredient must be fruit)

- Cherry Chocolate Smoothies - in reusable plastic cups 

- Whole Grain Cereal Treats  - use heart shaped cereal

- Popcorn Trail Mix - use clear bags with valentine designs

- Whole Grain Sugar Cookies - decorate with pink and red sugar sprinkles

*Check local policies on gum and balloons. As always review your fundraiser idea with school administration prior to implementation. (Pictured: Locker-Grams - Central Community School)

National School Breakfast Week

Waukee school meal serving line

The theme this year is “Out of this World!” and schools can celebrate with special menu items, events, and student activities. This week is a great opportunity to bring positive attention to the school breakfast program and the impact it has on your school community. One way to get involved with the celebration is to be a celebrity guest server.

Photo: Celebrity guest server, Superintendent Brad Buck, along with Food Service Director, Jeannie Allgood. Photo courtesy of Waukee Community School District. 

Share your School Breakfast Week plans with Carrie Scheidel at carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov.

Student Engagement in Health Education


Iowa’s Health Education Standards focus on engaging students in skills-based learning. SHAPE America shares 7 Best Practices to Keep Students Engaged in Health Class or any classroom based learning environment.

1. Movement - keep students out of chairs and moving

2. Flexible Seating - providing options

3. Student Choice - helps them own their learning

4. Student Focus - give them time to talk, share, and ask questions

5. Teacher Flexibility - have back up strategies

6. Quick Transitions - help students stay engaged

7. Ball Toss/Cold Calls - encourages interest and participation

school meals

Proposed Rule School Meals Flexibilities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced proposed changes to the school meal programs including changes to the nutrition requirements and meal patterns, nutrition standards for competitive foods, and administrative processes. These proposed changes are in the public comment phase.

Proposed Rule: School Meal Flexibilities Fact Sheet

Public Comment Period Open Until March 23, 2020

The Iowa Healthy Kids Act - CPR Requirements

CPR Class

The Iowa Healthy Kids Act requires that every physically able student complete a course that may lead to certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by the end of grade 12. This course must include both information and psychomotor skills that prepare a student to perform high quality chest compressions for peers and adults. Schools may also choose to partner with a certified CPR teacher or program.

Example: Garner Hayfield Ventura High School teaches CPR as a part of their health education class taken by all 9th grade students to ensure students learn these life saving skills early. This course is taught by the high school health and physical education teacher. Questions? Contact Lyn Jenkins at lyn.jenkins@iowa.gov.

Funding Opportunities

Active Schools - Listing of grant opportunities to support physical activity in schools, including active classrooms. Deadline: February 28th

2020 Iowa Specialty Crop Block Grants - Projects must include Iowa grown specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and horticulture and nursery crops. Deadline: March 11th

Action for Healthy Kids Grants - Deadline: April 3rd

  • Game On Grants: Support physical activity and nutrition initiatives while promoting students' social emotional learning. $1,000 - 2,500.
  • Parents for Healthy Kids Grants: Parent or parent groups lead projects in partnership with the school that focus on physical activity, nutrition, and social emotional learning. $1,000
exercising your character

Exercising Your Character

Hy-Vee is sponsoring an Exercising Your Character event that includes dancing, singing and motivational messages from famous athletes, coaches and more!

Who: 4th and 5th Graders

Where: Hy-Vee Hall - Des Moines

When: April 8th 10:30am - Noon

Registration Deadline: March 6 - FREE

Bus transportation allowarance is provided. All registered participants receive a t-shirt and lunch. Visit the webpage or contact Kourtney Arnold for more information.


School Meal Photo Comparison

Do parents complain their child does not get enough to eat at lunch? Make sure students understand what options are available as part of a reimbursable meal and help parents understand that their child may not always be choosing all the options available to them.

To "make a meal" students are required to take 3 out of the 5 components (one must be a fruit or vegetable).

Bondurant-Farrar CSD used photos to visualize the difference in trays based on student selections. Both trays have a reimbursable meal. Wow!


5-2-1-0 Success in Iowa Schools!


Below are some activity highlights of registered 5-2-1-0 schools sites are implementing to make the healthy choices the easy choice. Register your school today!

Decatur County Schools: Served healthy snacks (fruit kabobs, veggie tray, water) and had physical activity games during their Family Fun Night.

Garner-Hayfield-Ventura CSD: Have water bottle fill stations throughout the school to encourage high school students to drink more water.

Norwalk Middle School: Alternative seating options (standing desks, Rukus chairs, etc.).

St. Cecilia School (Ames): Uses produce grown in their garden for taste testing activities.

Marshalltown High School: Fitness center is open to students and staff on specified days.

Community Lutheran School: Parents host a Wildcat Workout for students  before school.

Madrid Jr/Sr High: Redesigning menu choices for students to encourage healthy choices.

Irving Elementary: Participated in a Hy-Vee Kids Fit Assembly and participate year round.

Shimek Elementary (Iowa City): Students made a pledge to work on the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Habits.

Feb feature

Iowa Department of Education - Bureau of Nutrition & Health Services
Carrie Scheidel - carrie.scheidel@iowa.gov