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​​​​​​​​Educators play a key role in empowering students to learn more about the importance of nutrition and physical activity and supporting students in applying health content knowledge to healthy practices. Nutrition education is a continuum of learning experiences to develop knowledge and skills that become lifelong healthy practices. Knowing how and why to eat healthy is important, as is having positive attitudes or preferences toward healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables.  However, knowledge alone does not enable students to adopt healthy eating behaviors, therefore, standards-based health education that also develops skills is important.   ​​

The Orange County Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links to particular items in hypertext are not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.​​​

Information and Resources

Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide - Center for Ecoliteracy

Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide uses video, photography, text, and interactive experiences to help educators, students, and advocates learn how food and climate systems interact and how personal choices can make a difference. Ideal for grades 6–12​ and general audiences.

Smart Snack in Schools - USDA

A Guide to Smart Snacks in School is a helpful resource to better understand the Smart Snacks standards in schools. ​​

National Center for Safe Routes to School

The Safe Routes Partnership is a national nonprofit organization working to advance safe walking and rolling to and from schools and in everyday life, improving the health and well-being of people of all races, income levels, and abilities, and building healthy, thriving communities for everyone.​

Portion Serving Size Card (NIH)

The NIH provides a printable portion size card to support nutrition​ education.

Team Nutrition - USDA

Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the child nutrition programs through training and technical assistance for food service, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity.​

California Farm to School Network

The California Farm to School Network is a "one-stop shop" for everything related to farm to school in California, based on the model of the National Farm to School Network.​

SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators)

SHAPE America serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the United States. SHAPE America provides programs, resources and advocacy that support an inclusive, active and healthier school culture.​

The Bigger Picture

The Bigger Picture (a partnership with UCSF’s Center for Vulnerable Populations at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital) inspires young people to change the conversation about Type 2 diabetes by exposing the environmental and social conditions that lead to its spread. ​

Curriculum and Lessons

Science and Our Food Supply: Using the Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthy Food Choices - FDA

This nutrition-based curriculum introduces students to the fundamentals of healthy food choices, using the Nutrition Facts label as the starting point, and may be used separately or in conjunction with the food safety curriculum. Designed for use by middle level and high school teachers, the emphasis is on an inquiry approach that is customizable to science, health, and/or family and consumer science classes, aligning with current education standards in these curriculum areas.

The Edible Schoolyard Project: Cooking with Curiosity Curriculum

The Edible Schoolyard Project is dedicated to transforming the health of children by designing hands-on educational experiences in the garden, kitchen, and cafeteria that connect children to food, nature, and to each other.​


The Nourish Curriculum Guide​ offers a rich set of lessons, videos, and ​resources to open a meaningful ​conversation​ about food and sustainability.

Let’s Eat Healthy - Dairy Council of California

The Dairy Council of California offers a K-12 nutrition education curriculum as well as games, activities, tip-sheets, and community resources about healthy eating and physical activity.


​Partnering with the Family​​

  • Encourage parents, guardians, and caregivers to consider active transportation to and from school with their child 
  • Walking or biking together instead of driving is fun and promotes connectedness. 
  •  Encourage students and their families, guardians, or caregivers to prepare and enjoy healthy foods together, such as by hosting community cooking classes or inviting family members in to share a healthy recipe that reflects their cultural heritage. 
  • ​​Consult the school’s policy on preparing and serving food in the classroom and check for nut and other food allergies. ​

​​Partnering with your School​​​

  • Administrators, school boards, and educators are encouraged to check with the California Department of Education’s web page regarding the Competitive Foods and Beverages rule (CDE 2017) based on the USDA‘s Smart Snack in Schools ruling to compare the guidelines against current practices for any food and beverage items sold for fundraisers, in vending machines, at school sporting events, and in the student store. Limiting nutrient-deficient, high-sugar, high-fat food items is encouraged. ​

​​Partnering with your Community​​

  • Students create a local physical activity resource guide identifying the locations in their community that are ideal for physical activity—created by students, for students to support increased opportunities for physical activity at school and in the community. Nontraditional activities such as taking the stairs, walking the dog, a family walk in the neighborhood after dinner, and cleaning the house can be included. 
  • Consider distributing the guide to other students in the school or posting to the school’s website to encourage peers to be physically active. 
  • Students survey their community to identify markets, stores, farmers’ markets or restaurants where fresh produce and other healthy foods are available. They then create a map, brochure or other resource highlighting these food sources in their communities. 
  • Consider distributing the guide to other students in the school or posting to the school’s website to encourage peers to eat healthy foods. In neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce and other healthy foods. 
  • Students work together to identify potential ways they might contribute to a solution, such as by bringing their concerns to city government officials or writing to the owners of a local convenience store to ask them to stock fresh produce. ​
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