Healthiest State Initiative

By 2016, Iowans aim to be the #1 healthiest state — the goal of the Healthiest State Initiative. The initiative is a privately led public initiative intended to inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness. To achieve these goals, individuals, families, businesses, faith-based organizations, not-for-profits and the public sector will unite in a community-focused effort. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is supporting the Healthiest State Initiative and our specialists have been involved in various levels of the effort.

Healthiest State Initiative
The Healthiest State Initiative website offers a variety of ways to get involved and resources to help Iowans accomplish the goals of improving health and happiness.

Wellness resources for families and individuals

  • MyPlate
    MyPlate is the new food icon replacing MyPyramid. MyPlate helps you visualize the proportion each food group should contribute to your plate.
  • Food for Fitness and Fun
    Easy to prepare recipes, fun activities, snack ideas, and healthy tips to help you and your family stay fit.
  • Raising Healthy Kids
    Raising Healthy Kids is a series of publications designed to help parents, communities and childcare providers address important health and nutrition questions. See all the publications in the series.
  • Healthy Meals in a Hurry
    Making smart food choices are easier when you have a freezer stocked with ready-to-reheat main dishes. Each of the featured recipes has "eat now" and "eat later" directions.
  • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) & Family Nutrition Program (FNP)
    Available in select counties, EFNEP and FNP are both nutrition education programs for low‐income families that help parents provide nutritious food for their families. The programs also help low‐income youth make choices for better health.
  • Spend Smart. Eat Smart.
    Find three easy steps to healthy meals: plan, shop and eat.
  • Words on Wellness blog
    This blog promotes a healthy lifestyle, with reliable, research-based information about nutrition, exercise and food safety in each post. The blog explores the power of incorporating healthy practices into daily living for you and your family.

Wellness resources for businesses

  • Eating Well Moving More
    Helps employees make lifestyle changes in five areas that influence hypertension: weight, physical activity, diet, sodium intake and alcohol use.
  • Build Your Own Wellness Program
    Design your own series of face‐to‐face programs to jump start your employees to better health.
  • Live Healthy Iowa
    Founded by the Iowa Sports Foundation in support from Iowa State University Extension and Iowa Department of Public Health, provides a series of team‐structured wellness challenges for families or workplaces.

    • 100‐Day Weight Loss Challenge: Participants form teams of 2‐10 adults to motivate and support each other in achieving their fitness and weight loss goals.
    • Burst Your Thirst: Teams of 2‐10 Iowans compete in a web‐based competition tracking water consumption and minutes of physical activity.
    • The Next Step: Teams of 2‐10 Iowans will compete in a web‐based competition tracking the number of "steps" achieved each week.
    • Note: Fee‐based programs

Wellness and Nutrition publications

  • ISU Extension and Outreach Online Store
    A variety of publications are available in the nutrition and wellness category that can assist families, communities and businesses as they work to help Iowa become the healthiest state.
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