New School Meal Pattern Communication Tools

Iowa Department of Education; 2012.

Communication Tools for Staff, Parents, and the Community

These tools were developed to help school nutrition programs communicate effectively with the school staff, parents and the community about the needs and value of the child nutrition program. Each tool can be edited and customized to meet specific school needs.

Sample Parent Communication (DOC | 27 KB) - This letter can be used to inform parents about the new meal pattern and what the changes will look like for their children this fall. It can be sent via e-mail, through a newsletter, inserted in the student handbook, or distributed at fall orientation.

Sample School Staff Communication (DOC | 27 KB) - This letter can be used to inform school staff about the new meal pattern and how school meals will change this fall. It can be sent via e-mail, through a staff newsletter, used as handout during a staff in-service, or placed in staff mailboxes.

Sample Webpage Template (PDF | 486 KB) - This template can be used to create or update an existing school nutrition program webpage. The different sections highlight the new meal pattern changes, as well as include resources for parents to support the changes.

Build a Healthy Lunch Lesson ( PDF | 259 KB) - Share this lesson with elementary teachers to help explain the “Build a Healthy Lunch” signage in the cafeteria and show support for the school meal program.


Building Healthy School Lunches Videos

Things are changing in School Lunch! These videos are targeted to various age groups help to explain the changes.

      • Lunch Safari   Video   Transcript
        For grades K-5. Go on a safari to find the healthy lunch at school!
      • School Lunch Report   Video   Transcript
        For grades 6-8. The video report by a middle school student explores school lunch. Grade A+!
      • What's for Lunch   Video   Transcript
        For grades 9-12. Rap into what's happening at lunch!
      • Healthy School Lunch   Video   Transcript
        For any adult who knows a student. A healthy student is more prepared to learn. Learn how School Lunch promotes growth and good health!

How can you use them? Here are a few ways:
- Post the videos or a link on your school web site.
- Create a repeating loop and show one or more at registration.
- Show them over the classroom network or in the cafeteria.
- Air it as part of a school news show.
- As a part of a school board meeting.
- Share at a parent meeting.
- Share in the community with civic organizations.