Nutrition Education Resources
DID YOU KNOW? School meals must meet federal nutrition guidelines for fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories as well as specific requirements for each of the 5 food components per week. Food components include grains, meat/meat alternative, fruit, vegetable, and milk. Requirements vary for grades K-8 and 9-12. Vegetable subgroups also have minimum serving requirements per week by grade level, including red/orange, green, beans, starchy, and other varieties. Learn more about school meal requirements.
A la carte snacks and beverages sold in schools must meet Smart Snacks guidelines. Learn more about Smart Snacks.
Nutrition Education in the Classroom
Visit the links below for lesson plans, activities, free printable materials, recipes, and more for use in the classroom. These are just a few great reliable sources of nutrition information.
- USDA Food and Nutrition Service
- Action for Healthy Kids
- National Dairy Council
- American Heart Association Lesson Plans
- Whole Grain Council
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Registered Dietitians should be your first source for evidence-based nutrition information. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Web site for reliable, simple tips as well as recipes. You also can visit the academy's Eat Right Web site for information specific to raising healthy children.
Choose My Plate
The previous food pyramid has evolved into USDA's MyPlate which consists of an easy graphic showing how to build a healthy meal. Half your plate should be filled with fruits and veggies, ¼ with lean protein, and ¼ with grains along with a spot for low fat dairy. Aim for ½ of your daily grains to be whole grains such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, etc. Visit the ChooseMyPlate Web site for more interactive activities, tip sheets, recipes, and more.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are released every 5 years and provide recommendations for healthy living and chronic disease prevention. Suggestions for 2015-2020 include choosing nutrient dense foods, limited added fats, sugars, and sodium, and including whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat dairy, and lean protein as part of a healthy lifestyle. Visit the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Web site to learn more about the dietary guidelines.