- Healthy Meals Resource System
This USDA system is an online information center for USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs and has been delivering resources to Child Nutrition Program staff since 1995.
- Changing the Scene: Improving the School Nutrition Environment
This USDA tool kit addresses the entire school nutrition environment from a commitment to nutrition and physical activity, pleasant eating experiences, quality school meals, other healthy food options, nutrition education and marketing the issue to the public.
- The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs was designed by USDA to help you or your purchasing agent buy the right amount of food and helps you determine the specific contribution each food makes toward the meal pattern requirements. This is necessary to ensure that meals provide needed nourishment and meet program requirements for reimbursement. It includes yield data for more than 1,200 food items, and can provide ideas for adding new foods or new forms of familiar foods to your menus.
- Fruits & Vegetables Galore
Created by USDA, Fruits & Vegetables Galore is a tool for school foodservice professionals packed with tips on planning, purchasing, protecting, preparing, presenting and promoting fruits and vegetables. Use Fruits & Vegetables Galore to help rejuvenate your cafeteria with colorful fruits and vegetables.
- A Menu Planner for Healthy School Meals
The Menu Planner for Healthy School Meals, published by USDA, provides recommendations from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines that can be implemented in menu planning: serving more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and lower amounts of sugar, saturated and trans fats, and sodium in school menus.
- The Road to SMI Success—A Guide for School Foodservice Directors
This USDA guide provides guidance to school foodservice directors, supervisors and managers on successfully implementing USDA's School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children (SMI) within the scope of daily practices. It includes information on menu planning, daily foodservice practices and tips to meet nutritional requirements for school meals, Team Nutrition, and preparing for an SMI review.
- Chefs Move to Schools
The “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative, organized through the USDA, will pair chefs with interested schools in their communities so together they can create healthy meals that meet the schools’ dietary guidelines and budgets, while teaching young people about nutrition and making balanced and healthy choices.
- Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (FFVP)
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program is a federally assisted program providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to students in participating elementary schools during the school day. The goal of the FFVP is to improve children's overall diet and create healthier eating habits to impact their present and future health. The FFVP will help schools create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices; expanding the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience; and increasing children's fruit and vegetable consumption.
- Department of Defense Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program (DoD Fresh Program) As part of the initiative by USDA to offer schools a wider variety of fresh produce than would be available through normal USDA purchases, the DoD Fresh Program was created. Through the DoD Fresh Program, USDA has been able to offer schools a wider variety of fresh produce than would normally be available through USDA purchases.
- Pecks for Pounds
Developed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture this chart translates the typical farm measurements (e.g., pecks, bushels, crates, etc.) to pounds. This chart is useful for both farmers and school food service staff to communicate effectively with each other and enables school food service staff to convert farm measurements into serving sizes.
For more information on how Farm to School efforts can fit into your menu planning, visit our Implementing Farm to School webpage.