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Schools are in a unique position to promote healthy eating. School breakfast and lunch programs may account for more than half of a child’s daily calorie intake, so good nutrition at school is more important than ever.

Benefits of
Healthy Eating

Improved nutrition in schools can lead to these benefits.

  • Increased focus and attention
  • Improved test scores
  • Better classroom behavior
  • Better understanding of healthy eating behaviors

A healthy breakfast is particularly important for getting a child’s day off to a good start. Eating a healthy breakfast is associated with improved cognitive function (especially memory), reduced absenteeism, and improved mood.

With two-thirds of the U.S. adult population and one-third of children overweight or obese, it is important to obtain adequate vitamins and/or minerals in foods and beverages with fewer calories. Schools have both the opportunity and responsibility to ensure that their cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars, and school stores offer only nutritious foods and beverages — that is, foods high in nutrients, but low in calories, fat, sugar, and salt.

Healthy Eating

Healthy Schools Program

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program helps schools create healthier environments that promote physical activity and healthy eating. Enrollment is free and gives members access to resources, trainings, and technical assistance.

Join the Healthy Schools Program

Water Hydration

Learn how to promote better access to clean drinking water for your school environment as a way to promote better hydration and overall health.

National Drinking Water Alliance

Thriving Schools Water Resource List

Create a Positive School Nutrition Environment

The CDC recommends that schools implement policies and practices to create a nutrition environment that supports students in making healthy choices.

See the CDC’s School Nutrition Resources

Federal School Nutrition Programs

Participation in the federal nutrition programs plays a critical role in childhood obesity prevention. Learn how you can work to increase participation in your school or district.

See the Food Research & Action Center Resources

Healthy School Snacks

The Center for Science in the Public Interest offers information and ideas for serving healthy snacks and beverages at school functions and celebrations

Visit CSPI’s Healthy School Snacks Resource

Healthy School Meal Tips

The Center for Science in the Public Interest gives you the facts on the latest USDA nutrition standards for schools with tips for how you can strengthen your school meal programs.

Visit CSPI’s Healthy School Meals Resource

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