Nutrition E-Newsletter for August 2012   

The Team Nutrition (TN) e-Newsletter is published periodically to share TN resources developed by USDA and/or by State agencies, and to share ideas for promoting healthy eating and physical activity through Team Nutrition at the State and local levels.

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Are You on the Team?

Become a Team Nutrition School and use the Department of Agriculture's Team Nutrition materials to help children make healthy food choices and be physically active. Team Nutrition schools can also participate in the HealthierUS School Challenge.

Signing up is easy and free. Send in your Team Nutrition enrollment form today!

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The School Day Just Got Healthier!
The School Day Just Got Healthier As America's children head back to school this Fall, they'll find that The School Day Just Got Healthier! Visit the Web site and explore The School Day Just Got Healthier Toolkit- a collection of resources to help inform your school community about the new changes to school meals.
  New Resources from Team Nutrition

Nutrition Voyage: The Quest to be Our Best

Nutrition Voyage: The Quest To Be Our Best takes 7th and 8th grade classes on an exploratory journey into school wellness. There are three inquiry-driven lessons for each grade, which include:

Nutrition Voyage
-   Engaging ways for students to learn about making healthy nutrition and physical activity choices

-   Standards-aligned activities for Math, Science, and English Language Arts

-   Opportunities for students to investigate, participate in a challenge, evaluate, and reflect.

Whether your class is embarking on the challenge to reach “Produce Peak,” investigating nutritious snack choices to fuel the trek, or conducting a school survey, it’s sure to be an exciting adventure. Trek on!

Healthier Middle Schools

Healthier Middle Schools: Everyone Can Help
This series of communication tools is designed to help you engage teachers, principals, parents, food service managers and students in school wellness efforts. The dynamic 1.5-3 minute videos are perfect for your back-to-school night and staff trainings. Color handouts reinforce the message.
NEW! Print materials and DVDs are now available upon request from Team Nutrition.

MyPlate for Kids

Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables Poster
This poster shows elementary school students how to make half their plate (or tray!) fruits and vegetables. Featuring foods prepared from Recipes for Healthy Kids winning recipes, these images will help children put this dietary advice into action.

Printed posters are available to schools and child care centers, upon request, from Team Nutrition.

Food Buying Guide Revision for School Meal Programs

The Vegetables and Fruits Section of the Food Buying Guide has been revised to address the new meal pattern requirements for the school meal programs. Among the changes are the separation of Fruits and Vegetables into different subsections. Each vegetable is also associated with its appropriate vegetable subgroup (Red/Orange, Dark-Green, Beans & Peas, Starchy, or Other).
Food Buying Guide
Best Practices Sharing Center Best Practices Sharing Center
Find resources and tools other School Food Authorities and State Agencies are using to serve healthy menus that meet the new school meal regulations.

Do you have a resource to share? Email it to us at!


HealthierUS School Challenge: New Application Materials

HealthierUS School Challenge

Schools are now invited to apply for recognition under 2012 HealthierUS School Challenge criteria. All new applications submitted to the State agency on or after July 1, 2012, will be considered using the new criteria. The 2012 HealthierUS School Challenge Criteria Chart, Brochure, and Application Files are available on the Team Nutrition Web site.

The HealthierUS School Challenge 2012 Presentation is now available!
Coming Soon: HealthierUS School Challenge Frequently Asked Questions
  Presidents' Circle Nutrition Education Award to the USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge
  On October 8, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Board of Directors will present USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge with the 2012 Academy/Academy Foundation Presidents' Circle Nutrition Education Award. This prestigious award is in recognition of the development and dissemination of scientifically sound nutrition information that is unique in concept, creative in presentation, free from specific commercial message or endorsement, and consistent with the mission, vision, values, positions, and policies of the Academy and its Foundation. Come to see the award presented at the Member Showcase on Monday, October 8, 2012 at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, October 6-9, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.
  Coming Soon From Team Nutrition
  Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum
Inquiry-driven lessons for grades 1-6. Also includes 3 original songs, poster, and parent take-home. Online version expected October 2012.

  Visit Team Nutrition at Upcoming Events
  Team Nutrition will exhibit nutrition education resources, including new and soon-to-be-released resources, at the following events:

  • Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo
    October 6-9, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Visit us at booth # 208 or at the following presentation and poster sessions:
    Making MyPlate Their Plate: Research-Based Messages for Children Presentation, Sunday, October 7, 2012, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
    Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition Poster Session, Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Annual APHA Film Festival
    October 29 - 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California
    Team Nutrition will present the following:
    Healthier Middle Schools: Everyone Can Help,
    Session One, Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 12:30PM-2:00PM
  • Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE)
    November 8-9, 2012 in Portland, Oregon


New Materials Developed by States

Creating Positive and Pleasant Mealtimes for Schools and Early Childhood Programs
Montana Team Nutrition.
This training resource addresses a variety of mealtime scenarios and tips for positive meal time practices. Materials include a video, poster, handouts, PowerPoint presentation, and recorded Webinar. Separate resources are available for school professionals and child care providers.

  Hoosier ChampionsHealthy Hunger-Free Kids Act Meal Pattern Calculator
Kansas Team Nutrition.
This Excel spreadsheet can help schools plan menus in accordance with the new school meal regulations.
Great Trays 3-week Cycle Menu
Minnesota Department of Education.
These 3-week cycle menus use the new meal pattern requirements and are available for different age groups.

3-week Cycle Menu
Hoosier Champions Hoosier Champions: School Nutrition and Activity Success Stories
Indiana Department of Education.
This publication showcases best practices from schools that implemented GameOn! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge. This new resource highlights fun and engaging nutrition and physical activities conducted in forty Indiana schools.

The booklet is divided into sections representing different activities or events: Food Tasting, Nutrition Education, School Year Kick Off, Outdoor Physical Activity/Fitness, Family Events, School Clubs, Community Events, Before School Events, Outdoor Physical Activity/Fitness and Engaging Celebrities/Professional Sports Teams.

Nutrition Education for Early Childhood
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
This resource provides three activities for use in early childhood settings. Each lesson includes information about corresponding Content Standards and Performance Standards, as well as a summary and key concepts.
Nutrition Education for Early Childhood
  Role Modeling Action Guide: Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
Milwaukee County Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition.

This guide combines many available curriculums, tools, and educational materials for individuals and agencies to use to promote role modeling as a method of decreasing the rate of childhood obesity.

Leap of Taste: Child Care Nutrition Standards
West Virginia Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition.

This book of nutrition standards is divided into four main components: Beverage Guidelines, Fruit and Vegetable Guidelines, Meat & Meat Alternates, and Grain & Bread Guidelines.

Leap of Taste Child Care Nutrition Standards
  Resources from the Healthy Meals Resource System
Recipe Finder
Recipe Finder Find standardized recipes, quantity recipes, USDA recipes, recipes from industry and more in this searchable database. Preset searches are available for fruit, vegetable, whole grains, and bean recipes.

Menu Planning Resources

Need some ideas for adding beans to the menu? Or incorporating more whole grains? The resources below offer tips for making menu changes in line with the new school meal regulations:

-   Beans
-   Fruits and Vegetables
-   Whole Grains
-   Sodium Reduction
HUSSC Criteria for Excellence

Promote healthy eating behaviors and physical activity with simple changes to the environment. These resources support the new HUSSC Criteria for Excellence:

Vegetables on a tray line

Smarter Lunchrooms
Promote healthy eating behaviors with simple changes to the lunchroom environment at your school.

Children with bikes Walk or Bike to School
Communities can increase opportunities for daily physical activity by encouraging children to walk or bike to and from school. Use these resources to start or enhance a program in your area!

Child on a swing Recess / Recess Before Lunch
The daily exercise that results from recess helps to improve health and physical fitness, and there are many benefits to scheduling recess before lunch. Use these resources to learn more!

About USDA's Team Nutrition
Team Nutrition is an integrated, behavior-based, comprehensive plan for promoting the nutritional health of the Nation's children. Team Nutrition uses three behavior-oriented strategies: 1) provide training and technical assistance to help Child Nutrition Program foodservice professionals to prepare and serve nutritious meals; 2) provide multifaceted, integrated nutrition education for children, their parents, and other adults who influence children's behavior; and 3) build school and community support to create a healthy school environment that is conducive to healthy eating and physical activity.

For more information regarding USDA's Team Nutrition and how to enroll your school as a Team Nutrition School, go to the USDA Web site at

What's new on USDA's Team Nutrition Web site? Check it out at

Submit your comments and suggestions regarding this Team Nutrition e-newsletter to the Healthy Meals Resource System (

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