This page introduces curricula, training videos and additional resources for child nutrition professionals. To find delicious recipes adapted for school cafeterias that follow USDA guidelines, click here.

Food Safety


Tips and Tools
Best Practices for Fresh Produce (pdf) Recommendations for handling fresh produce. Download
National Foodservice Management Institute- Produce Safety University A series of resources on produce safety that describe best practices for receiving, storing, handling, and purchasing fresh and fresh-cut produce through videos, fact sheets, and PowerPoint presentations. Visit
Produce Safety Videos Produce Safety Hacks from the USDA. Visit
Food-Safe Schools: Creating a Culture of Food Safety Visit

Food Production


Tips and Tools
National Foodservice Management Institute- Culinary Techniques Culinary Techniques for Healthy School Meals presents step-by-step food preparation techniques to produce healthy and delicious school meals. Visit
Calculating the Extra Cost of Over Portioning Serving portions larger than the planned menu increases food costs. Download
Using Equipment Safely and Efficiently Breakfast Lunch Training (BLT) module provides education resources for food service professionals to teach staff about equipment. Manual includes four lessons with teacher instructions and activities. Topics range from equipment choice, use, and maintenance to employee safety around equipment. Includes 32-minute video and PowerPoint® Presentation Visit

Knife Skills


Tips and Tools
Knife Skills for School Nutrition Professionals Download

Salad Bar


Tips and Tools
Salad Bar Tools & Resources Salad Bar Tools & Resources from the Lunch Box. Visit
Marketing Your Salad Bar Salad bar marketing tools from the Lunch Box. Visit
Cooking for Kids Salad Bar Handout Download

Building Flavor


Tips and Tools
Using Herbs and Spices in School Nutrition Using flavor enhancers like herbs and spices helps us more easily create more flavorful foods without relying on salt. Download

Taste Testing

Tips and Tools
Taste Testing 101 Taste testing is a great way to introduce students to new food items in a fun and interactive way. Download
Taste Preference Survey for Elementary School Students Download
Taste Preference Survey for Secondary School Students Download

Marketing & Community Outreach

Tips and Tools
Cooking for Kids Recipe Contest Download
Print-Your-Own Smarter Lunchrooms Signs and Labels Dynamic, colorful signage beautifies the lunchroom and gets students excited about eating school meals! These graphic, impactful designs are easy to use -- just print in color and post along the service line, atop the salad bar, and near menu boards. Visit
Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard The Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard is the nation’s premier tool for assessing and improving the use of evidence-based strategies in the lunchroom. The 4 Step Path to Building a Smarter Lunchroom will walk you through the 4 simple steps to using more strategies that increase student consumption of healthy food. Visit
Marketing Your Salad Bar Salad bar marketing tools from the Lunch Box. Visit
Team Nutrition Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity. Visit
Healthy Food Choices at Schools eXtension Community of Practice This is where you can find research-based information from America's land-grant universities. Visit
Produce for Better Health Foundation The Health & Wellness Resource Guide for Fruits & Vegetables includes new nutrition facts panels, health and nutrient content claims, social media posts, and healthy recipes with photos for 41 top produce items, with enhanced information about artichokes, potatoes, pears, and 100% Concord Grape Juice. Background information on consumption trends and responses to common consumer questions are also provided. Download
Fruits and Vegetables Galore: Getting students to eat more Fruits & Vegetables Galore is a tool for school foodservice professionals packed with tips on planning, purchasing, protecting, preparing, presenting and promoting fruits and vegetables. Visit

Nutrition and Menu Planning


Tips and Tools
USDA Child Nutrition Food Buying Guide The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs has all of the current information in one manual to help you and your purchasing agent 1) buy the right amount of food and the appropriate type of food for your program(s), and 2) determine the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements. Visit
Alliance for a Healthier Generation-Smart Snack Calculator Take the guesswork out of nutrition guidelines with the new Alliance Product Calculator for Smart Snacks! Simply enter the product information, answer a few questions, and determine whether your beverage, snack, side or entrée item meets the new USDA Smart Snacks in School Guidelines. Visit
USDA Healthy Meals Resource System The Healthy Meals Resource System is an online information center for USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) and has been delivering resources to CNP staff since 1995. Visit
The Lunch Box- Tools for School Food Change An online resource that provides free step-by-step guides, tools, and recipes to help schools improve their food programs. Visit
Oklahoma Farm to School Farm to School brings Oklahoma grown food into school cafeterias giving students the opportunity to taste farm fresh foods and learn how their food is grown. Visit
Farm to Child Nutrition Programs Planning Guide The Farm to Child Nutrition Planning Guide directs you through questions to consider when starting or growing a farm to school, farm to child care, or farm to summer program. Visit
What's in Season? Choosing fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to stretch food dollars. Learn about the fruits and vegetables that are fresh and in abundance each season! Visit
NFSMI Best Practice Guide for In-Classroom Breakfast This resource and checklist was developed through case study research that involved four school districts with exemplary in-classroom breakfast programs. The purpose of this resource is to guide school nutrition directors who wish to implement in-classroom breakfast programs that are customized for each school within a district, or to assess existing in-classroom breakfast programs in schools. The information will support efforts by capturing numerous issues that will impact the decision-making. Download
Eat Smart—Farm Fresh! A Guide to Buying and Serving Locally-Grown Produce in School Meals Visit

Funding and Grant Opportunities

Programs and Resources
Salad Bars to School A grant program that helps schools expand their commitment to serving fresh fruits and vegetables by implementing salad bars as part of their daily meal programs. Visit
Certified Healthy Schools The Certified Healthy School Program was started in 2010 by a health champion in the Oklahoma legislature. The program is administered by the Oklahoma Turning Point Council and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Center for the Advancement of Wellness. Certified Healthy School recognizes school sites that are working to improve student and employee health by providing wellness opportunities and implementing policies that lead to healthier lifestyles. Visit
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program FFVP can be an important tool in our efforts to combat childhood obesity. The Program has been successful in introducing school children to a variety of produce that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to sample. Visit
USDA: Grants/Funding Opportunities Find information on specific grants related to child nutrition and physical activity as well as resources to locate grants and information on the grant writing process. Visit
Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools Skoop and the Chef Ann Foundation have teamed up to launch Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. These $2,500 grants help schools increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and veggies and nutrition education. Visit
Fuel Up to Play 60 Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today's youth to lead healthier lives. Up to $4,000 per year is available to qualified K-12 schools enrolled in Fuel Up to Play 60 to jumpstart healthy changes. Visit
Dairy Max School Nutrition Equipment Grant Visit

School Wellness


Tips and Tools
Tailoring the Sample School Wellness Policy Schools play a critical role in fostering lifelong healthy habits in children. Children and youth spend the majority of their time during their formative years at school, where they consume at least half of their daily calories. Studies have shown that students who are more physically active and eat more nutritious diet perform better in school. School wellness policies communicate commitment to students, parents, teachers and administrators healthy environments, healthy students and academic progress are priorities. In fact, all school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program are required to adopt a written wellness policy. Many schools have found using a policy template helpful in writing an effective policy. The attached Policy Development Guide offers an editable version of a school wellness policy that includes all of the best practices for achieving a healthy school environment and that meets federal and state regulations. For schools not yet ready to adopt all the practices the guide provides options to tailor the policy to meet the district’s specific goals and needs. Download
Smart Snack Suggestions Download
Smart Snacks Fact Sheet Download
Healthy Fundraising (USDA Healthy Meals Resource System) Visit
Healthy Fundraising Solutions Healthy fundraising ideas from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Download
Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit Engage school staff and parents in school wellness using these ready-to-go communication tools. Sharing news about your Local School Wellness Policy is easy with these flyers, presentations, newsletter articles, and social media posts. Your school can personalize them to make them specific to your Local School Wellness Policy activities. Visit
Cooking for Kids Fact Sheet for Teachers and Staff Download
Cooking for Kids Fact Sheet for Families Download
Celebrations that Support Child Health Download
Constructive Classroom Rewards: Promoting Good Habits While Protecting Children's Health Download
Food for Kids Backpack Program The Regional Food Bank's Food for Kids program provides chronically hungry children with backpacks filled with non-perishable, nutritious, kid-friendly, shelf-stable food to sustain them over weekends and school holidays. Visit