Nutrition Education

To help combat childhood obesity nutrition education should be provided as it is not only important to serve nutritious foods but also to educate the children about healthy eating so that they can make healthy choices on their own and as they grow. Below you will find resources that can help you provide nutrition education to you, your staff, and the children you care for and their families.

 

Best Practices

The resources in this category are the same for all of the following best practices.

  • “Offer nutrition information to parents 2 times per year or more.”
  • “Offer planned nutrition education opportunities for children 1 time per week or more.”
  • “Provide training opportunities on nutrition (other than food safety and food program guidelines) for caregivers 2 times per year or more.”
     

 

CACFP Halftime – Thirty on Thursdays

Summary:  Team Nutrition offers monthly webinar training webinars on topics related to the CACFP Meal Patterns.  They are offered in English and Spanish.  You must be registered to attend. 
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Team Nutrition 
Access:  https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/webinars-and-training

 

Building Blocks for Fun and Healthy Meals

Summary:  This menu planner provides tools needed to successfully prepare and serve meals and snacks in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). It comes complete with sample menus, guidance on keeping and using production records, and information on food safety and sanitation.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/building-blocks 

 
Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns Revision: Best Practices

Summary: The USDA has developed new CACFP meal patterns for healthy eating patterns for children and adults in care. Optional best practices were also developed that build on the meal patterns and highlight areas where additional steps can be taken to further improve the nutritional quality of the meals that are served.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_bestpractices.pdf

 
Child Meal Pattern for Child and Adult Care Food Program

Summary:  Outlines the food pattern for children for caregivers of children from aged 1 to 18 years of age.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_childmealpattern.pdf

 
Enrichment Zone: Fitness, Friends, and Fun

Summary: Provides Nutrition and Physical Activity ideas for Pre-K programs. Click on the Download Pre-K Program text.
Source: Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Discovery Education
Access: https://togethercounts.com/enrichment-zone/

 
Grow It, Try It, Like It! Nutrition Education Kit

Summary:  A garden-themed nutrition education kit that introduces children to: three fruits and three vegetables.  It contains seven booklets with fun activities through an imaginary garden. Each set of lessons contains: hands-on activities, planting activities, and nutrition education activities that introduce MyPlate. You can download this kit for free or follow the Resource Order Form to order a hard copy.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/grow-it-try-it-it  

 
High Five Stickers

Summary: These stickers can be downloaded to be used for kids during lessons. They can also be used to reward children when they choose to eat healthy foods from the five foods groups.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/high-five-stickers

 
Infant Meal Pattern for Child and Adult Care Food Program

Summary:  Outlines the food pattern for infants for caregivers of children from birth to aged 11 months. 
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_infantmealpattern.pdf

 
Launch Your Day with Breakfast! Stickers

Summary: Use these stickers to help promote eating breakfast in lessons or during mealtimes.  They can be downloaded or ordered from Team Nutrition and that information is located on the page.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/launch-your-day-breakfast-stickers

 
Make Today a Try-Day!

Summary: Poster and sticker set that you can use in your day care to encourage kids to try new foods. Available by download or can order from Team Nutrition.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/make-today-try-day-cacfp-postersticker-set

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 3 – Love your veggies

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for increasing consuming more vegetables and health benefits.
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.3.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 4 – Enjoy Fruit

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for consuming fruits. 
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.4.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 5 – Whole grains

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for consuming whole grains.
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.5.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 6 – Plan for protein

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for consuming lean protein sources.
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.6.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 7 – More than meat

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for consuming plant based protein.  
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.7.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 8 – Don’t forget diary

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for dairy consumption.
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.8.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 9 – Don’t fear fat

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for consuming healthier fats. 
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.9.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 10 – Think about your drink

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for increasing water consumption and reducing drinks with added sugar.
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.10.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 11 – Beyond Fresh

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for consuming fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables.
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.11.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 17 – Pleasing Picky Eaters

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for trying ways to help children who are picky eaters try new foods. 
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/TR.17.pdf

 
Making Healthy Choices: Week 21: Get more veggies

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for increasing consuming more vegetables.
Source:  Michigan State University Extension
Access: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/resources/pdfs/MSUE_Healthy_Youth_Backpack_Week21_WEB.pdf

 
Maximizing the Message: Helping Moms and Kids Make Healthier Food Choices

Summary: A set of 16 audience-tested nutrition education messages and supporting content, such as tips and recipes. These tools can be used to support and enhance nutrition education targeting low-income mothers and children. Behaviors related to child feeding practices and fruit, vegetable and low-fat/fat-free milk consumption are addressed.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/maximizing-message-helping-moms-and-kids-make-healthier-food-choices-0

 
MyPlate for Kids: Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables Poster

Summary: This poster shows kids how their plate or tray should look with half of it being fruits and vegetables.  Available to download or order a copy for free from Team Nutrition.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/myplate-kids-make-half-your-plate-fruits-and-vegetables-poster

 
MyPlate Posters

Summary:  MyPlate posters that are 20” X 16” in size. They are double-sided in colors of Blue/Magenta and Green/yellow.  You can download for free or order a free one using the Resource Order Form link on the page.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/myplate-posters

 
New Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns:  Child and Adult Meals

Summary: The USDA recently updated the CACFP food patterns to ensure children and adults have access to healthy foods. The new child and adult meal patterns include a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_childadultmealstandards.pdf

 
New Child and Adult Care Food Program Meal Patterns: Infant Meals

Summary:  The USDA recently updated the CACFP food patterns for adults and children so they have access to healthy foods.  The changes to the infant plan include the support of breastfeeding and fruits and vegetable consumption.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/cacfp/CACFP_infantmealstandards.pdf

 
Nibbles for Health Newsletter – Fats and Oils in Foods: How Much for Kids?

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for amount and types of fat for children to consume.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services
Access: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Nibbles_Newsletter_22.pdf

 
Nibbles for Health Newsletter – For Growing Bones…Which Milk?

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for and benefits of milk.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services
Access:  https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Nibbles_Newsletter_6.pdf

 

Nibbles for Health Newsletter – Handling A “Choosy” Eater

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for trying ways to help a choosy eater try new foods.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services
Access: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Nibbles_Newsletter_13.pdf

 
Nibbles for Health Newsletter – Juice or Fruit Drinks?

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for juice recommendations for children.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services
Access: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Nibbles_Newsletter_19.pdf

 
Nibbles for Health: Nutrition Newsletters for Parents of Young Children

Summary:  Nibbles for Health has reproducible newsletters that can be given to parents to address many of the challenges they face every day.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/nibbles-health-nutrition-newsletters-parents-young-children

 
Nibbles for Health Newsletter – Together…Let’s Try New Foods!

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for trying new foods with children.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services
Access:  https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Nibbles_Newsletter_14.pdf

 

Nibbles for Health Newsletter – Trying, Sharing, Enjoying Different Foods

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for trying ways to help children try new foods.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services
Access: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Nibbles_Newsletter_16.pdf

 
Nibbles for Health Newsletter – Why Breakfast?

Summary:  Newsletter featuring tips for healthy breakfasts.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services
Access:  https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/Nibbles_Newsletter_5.pdf

 
Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) Manuals

Summary:  This manual provides the best practice recommendations for each question on the self-assessment. The manuals also include the rationale behind each recommendation, challenges to implementing recommendations, and tips for changing current practice.
Source:  Michigan Healthy Child Care
Access:  http://mihealthtools.org/childcare/resources.asp

 
Physical Activities and Healthy Snacks for Young Children 

Summary:  Several examples and recipes of healthy snacks that can be used as part of a meal.  Provides ideas for kids to help as well as activities to go with the recipes. The cards can be easily printed from site for use at day cares.
Source:  Team Nutrition Iowa – Iowa Department of Education – Bureau of Food and Nutrition
Access:  https://healthymeals.fns.usda.gov/hsmrs/Iowa/nutritionbag/activities_snacks_cards.pdf

 
Produce for Kids: Your Healthy Family Resource

Summary:  This website is dedicated to educating about healthy eating and provides recipes, what produce is in season, and lunch box ideas. 
Source: Produce for Kids, Inc.
Access:  http://www.produceforkids.com/news/whats-seaso

 
Sesame Street: Healthy Habits for Life

Summary: Activities for providers, kids, and families, some of which focus on nutrition and physical activity.
Source: Sesame Workshop
Access: http://www.sesamestreet.org/parents/topicsandactivities/toolkits/healthyhabits#

 
Smarter Lunchrooms Alphabet Fruit and Veggie Signage

Summary:  Alphabet posters and flashcards for educational use.
Source:  Smarter Lunchrooms 
Access:  https://www.smarterlunchrooms.org/smarter-mealtimes

 
The Two Bite Club (English and Spanish)


Summary:  This educational storybook, available in English and in Spanish, was developed to introduce MyPlate to young children. 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. You can download a copy from this site or follow the Resource Order Form link to get a free hard copy.
Source:  United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service
Access:  http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/two-bite-club

 
The 3 Ring Food Circus: Easy and Fun Food-Related Activities for Preschoolers and Young Children

Summary : This book contains activities that teach young children about trying and learning new foods, having fun being physically active, and using MyPlate to fill a healthy plate. You can download a pdf from this site.
Source:  United Dairy Industry of Michigan
Access:  http://www.milkmeansmore.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/0002dcm_3-Ring-book.pdf​

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