Team Nutrition E-Newsletter  
September 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.

  In this issue:
New Resources from Team Nutrition
Dig In! Now Available in Print!
Dig In! Logo   Explore a world of possibilities in the garden and on your plate using ten inquiry-based lessons that engage 5th and 6th graders in growing, harvesting, tasting, and learning about fruits and vegetables.
Dig In! includes a Teacher's Guide, a Gardening Guide (in the Teacher's Guide), Dig In! At Home Parent Booklet, Six Dig In! Posters, and an Eat Smart To Play Hard With MyPlate Poster.
Print Availability: Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or other Child Nutrition program may request a free print copy of the curriculum. The curriculum comes with 35 copies of the Dig In! At Home Parent Booklet and the six Dig In! Posters. Order the Eat Smart To Play Hard With MyPlate Poster separately. Additional parent booklets may also be requested. View the order form.

The Great Garden Detective Adventure
Discover what fruits and vegetables are sweetest, crunchiest, and juiciest through a series of investigations
and fun experiences connecting the school garden to the classroom, school cafeteria, and home. This eleven-lesson curriculum for 3rd and 4th grades includes bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents/caregivers.
  The Great Garden Detective Adventure cover
Print Availability: Elementary schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or other Child Nutrition program may request a free print copy of the curriculum. The curriculum comes with 35 of each of the 10 parent newsletters. Additional newsletters may also be requested. View the order form.

Grow It, Try It, Like It!
Grow It, Try It, Like It! Cover   Grow It, Try It, Like It! Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables is a garden-themed nutrition education kit for child care center staff that introduces children to: three fruits - peaches, strawberries, and cantaloupe, and three vegetables - spinach, sweet potatoes, and crookneck squash. This new version of Grow It! incorporates the MyPlate icon.
The kit includes seven booklets with fun activities, a CD-ROM with Supplemental Information, and a DVD with Cool Puppy Pup's Picnic and Lunch Parties. Print Availability: Print copies will be available in Fall 2013.

Team Nutrition Message Graphics for School Menus
Jazz up your elementary school menus and encourage healthy choices with these free downloadable graphics from Team Nutrition!   Graphics for School Menus

Nutrition & Wellness Tips for Young Children: Now Available in Print!
CACFP Wellness Handbook   This handbook is for CACFP providers caring for children ages 2 through 5 years. It includes a series of tip sheets, supplements, best practice success stories, and a list of resources that will help providers address nutrition and wellness goals for planned activities and meals served through CACFP.
Print Availability: Child care providers, sponsoring organizations, and State agencies participating in CACFP or other Child Nutrition programs may request the free printed materials. View the order form.

Coming Soon! CACFP Crediting Handbook

This resource is a companion to the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs made for CACFP. It provides information on crediting foods that are commonly served in child and adult care centers, outside-school-hours care centers, and family day care homes. It also incorporates and updates crediting information from the previous documents What's in a Meal? and Crediting Foods in the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This crediting handbook is written under the current CACFP meal patterns and will be available initially online this Fall 2013 at


HealthierUS School Challenge
Back to School with the HealthierUS School Challenge
HealthierUS School Challenge   Highlight the efforts your staff and school community are making to ensure that students will be eating nutritious meals and engaging in nutrition education, physical education, and physical activity this school year.

Apply for the HealthierUS School Challenge today and show the country why your school should be recognized! Check out these great resources to help you get started:

Team Nutrition Training Grant Update
Team Nutrition (TN) Training Grants have just been awarded to States! USDA Food and Nutrition Service has awarded approximately $5.6 million in TN Training Grants to 19 State agencies administering the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).   Team Nutrition logo
TN Training Grants assist State agencies in achieving the TN goal of improving children's lifelong eating and physical activity habits using the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Check out the TN Web site for descriptions of States' planned activities.

Energize Your Day With School Breakfast!
Wellness in Alaska Child Care: Best Practices   Check out USDA Food and Nutrition Service's new "Energize Your Day With School Breakfast" Toolkit!
This toolkit includes a collection of resources that school food service directors, program operators, and other stakeholders may use to establish or expand the breakfast service within their school. There are numerous worksheets, surveys, planning tools, and extensive marketing materials to help you implement and spread the word about your School Breakfast Program.
Use this toolkit to help you:
  • Determine which type of meal service is best suited to a school's needs
  • Calculate costs of operation
  • Create a plan for implementation
  • Develop menus and a marketing plan that will generate buy-in among school staff and the community
  • Encourage student participation in your School Breakfast Program

New Resources from States
Create a Classroom that Moves!
Ohio Team Nutrition.
Classroom-based physical activity is an instructional tool teachers can use to improve mood, energy levels, and facilitate student learning. Activity can be introduced into existing routines and transitions, into academic lessons, or introduced as a 'brain break.'   Create a Classroom that Moves!
This kit consists of three core classroom tools: Grade-level nutrition lessons; Physical activity breaks; My Classroom Physical Activity Pyramid.

Wellness in Alaska Child Care: Best Practices
Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.
Wellness in Alaska Child Care: Best Practices   The Wellness in Alaska Child Care (WIACC) grant was a comprehensive project designed to provide child care staff with training that would result in children adopting lifelong habits of healthy eating and physical activity. This resource contains best practices collected from grant activities.

Resources from Michigan Team Nutrition
  Michigan Junior Chef Competition Cookbook   Michigan Junior Chef Competition
Michigan's Jr. Chef competition challenged student teams to develop a healthy lunch meal incorporating local foods and USDA Foods that meet the new guidelines. A cookbook of recipes from the event is also available.
  Alternatives to Foods as Rewards   Alternatives to Foods As Rewards
This one-page handout provides several zero-cost and low-cost alternatives to using food as a reward.
  Chef Dave Mac's HealthierUS School Challenge Recipes   Chef Dave Mac's HealthierUS School Challenge Recipes
A collection of 19 soup, salad, stir fry, entree, sandwich, vegetable, and condiment recipes intended to be served as part of menus meeting the HealthierUS School Challenge criteria.
  Fresh Meals Culinary Training Videos   Fresh Meals Culinary Training Videos
This series of 20 online videos provides tips for creating healthy school meals using locally grown fresh food. The videos feature James Beard award-winning chef Jimmy Schmidt.
  Meeting the Challenge Videos   Meeting the Challenge Videos
These videos illustrate how Michigan Child Nutrition professionals are meeting the New School Meal Regulations and the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) criteria. They include a Chef demonstrating recipes using whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Each video focuses on one or more aspect of the New School Meal regulations and shares tips from Child Nutrition Professionals. A Meeting the Challenge Recipe Book is also available.
  Michigan Nutrition Standards Toolkit   Michigan Nutrition Standards Toolkit
An extensive online toolkit developed to support the Michigan Nutrition Standards. Includes resources for administrators, food service professionals, educators, parents, and community members. Materials include a Webinar, handouts, recipes, outreach materials, and much more.
  Showcase of Chefs Recipe Book   School Day Just Got Healthier: Showcase of Chefs Recipe Book
These recipes were compiled to accompany Michigan's Showcase of Chefs culinary trainings.

Healthy Meals Resource System
Best Practices Sharing Center for School Meals
Needs ideas for resources and best practices? Or have some to share? Visit the Best Practices Sharing Center—it is intended for School Food Authorities and State Agencies to share resources and tools they use to serve healthy menus that meet school meal regulations.   State Sharing Center

Resource Library
Find materials on a variety of hot topics in Child Nutrition!


State Sharing Center

Select a state on the page to view State Agency contact information, materials developed as part of a Team Nutrition Training Grant, state organizations, and much more!

  State Sharing Center

Recipe Finder
Wellness in Alaska Child Care: Best Practices   Jazz up your menus in the new school year! Find standardized recipes, quantity recipes, USDA recipes, tools for conducting taste tests, and more!
Subscribe today! View Newsletter Archives or contact us at hmrs@ars.usda,gov. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).