As the American diet has shifted towards more processed, high-fat, high-sugar foods, the health of our children has suffered. Obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Today, over 18% of children ages 6–19 are obese. Obese youth are more likely to have risk factors for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, several types of cancer and osteoarthritis as adults. With more than 30 million students, schools play a critical role providing opportunities for children to access healthier food and practice nutritious eating. For many students, school is their only consistent source of nourishment through meal programs. While at first glance it may seem daunting to adjust a school food procurement system to healthier (ideally local) choices, there are an increasing number of schools and districts that have already set a precedent with healthy, innovative programs. Learn more about procuring healthy, sustainable food for your school to provide nourishing meals and teach children about food choices, nutrition, and the food system.
Tip: Also visit our National & State Green School Programs page to learn more about local and national Green School programs and resources to help you improve the health & sustainability of your school!
Before You Start
Design and Preparation
- Develop a Sustainable Food Action Plan
- Procure Healthy Food for Your School:
- School Meal Policy Guidance:
- Networking Opportunities:
- Also See: Healthy, Sustainable School Food Initiatives
- Also See: Edible Food Gardens
Using Your Project
- In Defense of Food Curriculum (ages 10+)
- Johns Hopkins FoodSpan: Standards Aligned High School Curriculum
- EPA Lesson Plans, Teacher Guides & Online Resources for Educators
- Eco Schools K-12 Resources for Educators
- Eco Schools National Standards & Curriculum Alignment
- Green Education Foundation: Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse
- Learning Lab Sustainability Lessons
- Project Learning Tree Curriculum Offerings
Sharing Your Project
- Team Nutrition Popular Events Idea Notebook
- Engage EVERYONE with the “The School Day Just Got Healthier” Toolkit!
- Involve Parents & Others Enhancing & Implementing a School Wellness Policy
- Nutrition Education & Promotion Materials
- Forward Food Posters, Postcards & More
- Golden Carrot Award: Food Service Healthy School Lunch Improvement
- Create Signs About Healthy Food Tips & Efforts
- Project Resource Library: Learn More!
- National & State Green Schools Programs
- Bay Backpack Teaching Resources Search Engine
- Where Your Food Comes From: Farm-Based Education Network Resources
- Farm to School Network Resources Search Engine
- EPA Learning & Teaching About the Environment (awards, resources, more)