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Taking Initiative: Healthy Foodservice Options in the Schools

Renee Greiner
Renee Greiner | April 29, 2014

The Healthy Kids Act (HKA) was signed into law in May 2008. However, it’s of course an ongoing initiative for schools to be meeting the requirements and finding ways to continue helping to make health a priority for students, parents and staff. In addition, there is the upcoming Smart Snacks in School legislation that will need to be implemented beginning on July 1. Once this legislation is finalized, it will establish nutrition standards for all foods sold in schools.

How You Can Help
Tips From The Iowa Department of Education
√ Choose nutritious foods and be physically active yourself to be a role model for students
√ Involve students in school wellness
√ Offer healthy choices to students both in and out of the classroom
√ Remind parents to provide healthy treats for students during school parties
√ Educate students on the Local Wellness Policy and Healthy Kids Act as it relates to them
√ Start a worksite wellness initiative

Offering Healthy Choices Through Vending
There is the option for schools to take vending into their own control.
There are many reasons why doing so is advantageous, including the following:
√ Access to suggested vending items from Martin Bros. that fit the Healthy Kids Act
√ Added revenue source for foodservice programs
√ Items controlled by foodservice programs
√ Part of competitive foods rules, with schools accountable for items
√ Can be used for an a la carte program in smaller schools

Finding Items That Fit
Martin Bros. has a Healthy Kids Act page ( – Resources – Healthy Kids Act) that includes items organized by category (entrée, side, vending). Items in this list are added or removed as needed, so check this page for updates – especially once the Smart Snacks legislation is finalized.


And check out our list of K-12 school recipes for more healthy and fun ideas!



Questions or comments about this article? Feel free to contact us!


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