Nutrition E-Newsletter for March 2013   

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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New Resources from Team Nutrition

Fact Sheets For Healthier School Meals

These fact sheets were developed by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service to help schools implement the major recommendations from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the nutrition foundation for all school meals programs. Schools can use these fact sheets to incorporate the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations within the school meal pattern requirements and nutrition standards.

Available in PDF from the Team Nutrition Web site:


Fact Sheets for Healthier School Meals

Serving Up MyPlate

Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum

Print copies available in late March 2013!

What are healthy food choices? What is a balanced diet?
Serving Up MyPlate is a new collection of classroom materials that helps elementary school teachers integrate nutrition education into Math, Science, English Language Arts, and Health. This yummy curriculum introduces the importance of eating from all five food groups using the MyPlate icon and a variety of hands–on activities. Students also learn the importance of physical activity to staying healthy.

Curriculum materials are available online:

Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbooks

If you’re looking to add to your collection of delicious, kid-approved recipes that are made from healthy ingredients, look no further than the Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbooks!

The Recipe for Healthy Kids (R4HK) Competition challenged teams of school nutrition professionals, chefs, students, parents, and other community members to develop creative, tasty, and kid-approved recipes that schools can easily incorporate into their National School Lunch Program menus.


Recipes for Healthy Kids Cookbooks

To recognize and share this culinary creativity nationwide, 30 delicious, kid-approved recipes from the R4HK competition have been standardized and compiled into cookbooks for use in homes, child care centers, and schools.

Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children   Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

The handbook was developed by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help child care providers create healthier environments for the children in their care. It addresses current wellness recommendations* for children ages 2 through 5 years old.

The handbook contains a series of tip sheets, each of which focuses on a specific topic, such as "Build a Healthy Plate With Vegetables" or "Encourage Active Play." Each tip sheet includes ideas for hands-on activities and a practical application section. By using the tip sheets when planning meals and activities, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) providers can incorporate key recommendations and best practices into their menus and daily schedules.

The handbook is available on the Team Nutrition Resource Library:
Print copies will be made available for ordering in the Summer of 2013.

Two-Bite Club

The newly revised Two Bite Club book for young children is a great tool for teaching good nutrition to young children. This educational storybook was developed to introduce MyPlate to preschoolers. Parents or caregivers can read the book to children and encourage them to try foods from each food group by eating just two bites, just like the characters in the story. The back of the book contains a MyPlate coloring page, a blank certificate for the Two Bite Club, fun activity pages for kids, and Tips for Growing Healthy Eaters.


Two Bite Club

The book is currently available on-line. This spring, printed copies will be available and individual student copies may be ordered at that time.



Farm to School Grants

Application Period is Open for the Latest Round of Farm to School Grants
Across the country, an increasing number of schools and districts have begun to source more foods locally and to provide complementary educational activities to students that emphasize food, farming, and nutrition. This nationwide movement to enrich children's bodies and minds while supporting local economies is often referred to as "farm to school."

Farm to School

On February 6, 2013, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the release of a request for applications for the latest round of USDA's Farm to School Grants. The funds will support schools' efforts to bring local or regionally produced foods into their cafeterias; provide hands-on learning activities such as school gardening, farm visits, and culinary classes; and integrate food-related education into the regular, standards-based classroom curriculum. This year, three different types of grants will be made available:

Planning grants are intended for K-12 school food authorities that are in the beginning stages of their farm to school efforts.

Implementation grants are intended for K-12 school food authorities that seek to advance existing farm to school initiatives.

Support Service grants are intended for eligible entities working with school districts or schools to further develop and provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.

Proposals are due at midnight EST, April 24, 2013. In all cases, a 25% cash or in-kind match of the total project cost is required. To learn more, visit the USDA Farm to School Web site.



HealthierUS School Challenge: New Resources

HealthierUS School Challenge

Over 5,400 schools are currently certified as HealthierUS School Challenge awardees! Schools are invited to apply for recognition under 2012 HealthierUS School Challenge criteria. The 2012 HealthierUS School Challenge Criteria Chart, Brochure, HealthierUS School Challenge 2012 Presentation and Application Files are available on the Team Nutrition Web site.  

The Frequently Asked Questions, Vegetable Subgroup Requirements Chart, and Farm to School and HealthierUS School Challenge is now available!

Coming Soon: Whole Grain Resource

  Coming Soon from Team Nutrition
  Schools will soon have several new resources to help communicate nutrition messages using gardening, classroom, and cafeteria experiences.

Later this Spring, Team Nutrition will unveil two new curricula and one curriculum update, designed to encourage children to try new fruits and vegetables and generate an awareness about how these foods are grown.  The Great Garden Detective Adventure for grades 3 and 4 and Dig In! for grades 5 and 6 will connect nutrition education to course curriculum standards for Math, Science, and English Language Arts through fun and interactive activities. Included are specific activities and posters promoting dark-green, red, and orange vegetables and beans and peas.

An update of Team Nutrition’s popular Grow It, Try It, Like It! curriculum for preschool will also be released.

Dig In! The Great Garden Detective Adventure
  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:



New Materials Developed by States

Meal Pattern Resources   Meal Pattern Resources
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
A collection of resources on the new meal pattern, including printable mini-posters of the vegetable subgroups, planning tools, and PowerPoint presentations designed to be used to train food service staff.

Resources from Team Nutrition Iowa


Menus that Move Cycle Menus
Ohio Department of Education; Ohio State University.
A set of seasonal cycle menus to help schools serve tasty meals that fit within the new meal guidelines. Each seasonal cycle menu contains five weekly menus that have been entered into the USDA Menu Certification Worksheet and meet both the required meal components and nutrient analysis.

Menus That Move Cycle Menus
Offer Versus Serve Frontline Staff Training   Offer Versus Serve Frontline Staff Training
Illinois State Board of Education. Nutrition and Wellness Programs Division.
This training presentation provides guidance for frontline staff to identify a reimbursable meal under offer versus serve. Includes visual examples of meals that meet the criteria and some examples of those that do not.

- K-5, 6-8, K-8 Grade Grouping (PDF | 858 KB)
- 9-12 Grade Grouping (PDF | 858 KB)


Resources from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Residential Child Care Food Safety Curriculum
University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension.
This food safety training curriculum for residential child care staff includes three modules: Module 1 focuses on the causes of foodborne illnesses and prevention/mitigation strategies. Module 2 focuses on the components of a food safety plan. Module 3 focuses on actual development and implementation of the food safety plan. Training materials include PowerPoint presentations, instructor training manual, participant manual, a Food Safety Kit Booklet, Food Safety Smart Video, and a Food Safety Plan Template.

Residential Child Care Food Safety Curriculum

Resources from the Texas Department of Agriculture

  Nutrition Policies and Guidance for the CACFP
Connecticut State Department of Education.
This resource consists of six individual guides on a variety of menu planning topics, including CACFP meal pattern requirements, avoiding common menu problems, nutrition guidance, feeding infants, and accommodating children with special dietary needs. Each guide also includes useful forms and handouts.
Eat Smart Guidelines for Child Care
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Bureau of Community Food and Nutrition Assistance.
These guidelines challenge child care facilities to improve their meal service by following recommended standards that are above the minimum requirements. Three recognition levels are offered: Minimum, Intermediate, and Advanced. The Guidelines recommend menu improvements including: More whole grains, More fruits and vegetables, Less processed foods, Lower fat milk, Fewer sweets, and More variety of foods.
  Resources from the Healthy Meals Resource System
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!
  Education and Training Materials Database
Find information for over 1100 materials developed by universities, private industry, and local, State and Federal government agencies for school personnel and others working in Child Nutrition Programs. Each entry includes developer information, publication date, cost & ordering information, and a review of the material.
CACFP Wellness Resources CACFP Wellness Resources
Web site dedicated to helping CACFP participants find the resources they need to meet nutrition, physical activity, and other wellness recommendations.
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.

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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