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Ankeny Schools in Select Group Working with Dietitians

The Ankeny school district is one of 10 districts in the state taking part in the Meet the Challenge program to improve the foods offered to students, give nutrition lessons and provide physical activity.

A news release from the Iowa Department of Education:

Schools across the state of Iowa -- including Ankeny -- are seeing some healthy changes in their schools, like changes in the foods offered at school, the nutrition lessons and physical activity provided.

Meet the Challenge! is a program formed through a collaborative partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, USDA Team Nutrition, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, whose goal is to connect nearly 40 Iowa schools with the one-on-one assistance of a Registered Dietitian. The project is active in ten school districts, including Ankeny and nearby Saydel.

As part of the Meet the Challenge! program, select buildings within these districts are working with Registered Dietitians Anne Cundiff, Crystal Morrison, Dianne Pettit, Sandy Holterhaus and Kathryn Thompson to establish Energy Balance Teams of school staff, parents, and students to help improve the school’s wellness environment and meet criteria for a USDA HealthierUS School Challenge award. Award levels of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold Award of Distinction are awarded based on application criteria with a monetary recognition of $500, $1,000, $1,500 and $2,000 respectively.

“The partnership between the Iowa Department of Education’s Team Nutrition program and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has significantly increased the number of Iowa schools who have pursued the HealthierUS School Challenge award. The one-on-one assistance provided by the RD Coaches in the schools brings wellness teams together in each building to work on meeting all required criteria. The partnership is creating healthier school environments in more Iowa schools through promotion of nutrition and physical activity excellence,” says Patti Delger with the Iowa Department of Education.

By December, 2012, nearly 40 Iowa schools will have applied for awards through HealthierUS School Challenge, thanks to Meet the Challenge!

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation (formerly the American Dietetic Association Foundation) is a 501(c)3 charity devoted exclusively to nutrition and dietetics. It funds scholarships and awards, public awareness and research projects and Academy strategic initiatives, and is the largest provider of scholarships and awards in the field of dietetics. The Foundation’s mission is funding the future of the dietetics profession through research and education. Visit the Academy Foundation at www.eatright.org/foundation.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at www.eatright.org.

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