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Foundations of Nutrition: Dietary Guidelines

The School Nutrition Program Foundations of Nutrition: 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans online training.

Course Description

Discover the purpose of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and how the key recommendations help Americans create a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Participants will gain an understanding of the guidelines and access lessons and resources to put these guidelines into action in the classroom.

  • Course Number: 173
  • Training Length: 30 minutes
  • Certificate: Available at the end of the training
  • Target Audience: Food Service Director and Staff
  • Mandatory: No
  • Cost: Free
  • Date Recorded: August 2017

Online Course

Please note that this training reflects the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. On December 29, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services released the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The 2020 recommendations are consistent with the 2015 edition that Americans eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat, and less saturated fat and salt. For the first time, the guidelines include meal patterns and advice for infants and toddlers, focusing on the need to limit sugars and foods high in sodium and instead to promote “nutrient dense” foods. The theme for all individuals, in fact, is “Make Every Bite Count” – a focus on the nutritional density of foods in five categories. For more on the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, visit the Dietary Guidelines for Americans web page External link opens in new window or tab. where you can access the full report, an executive summary, online materials, and consumer resources.

This training is in the process of being updated to reflect the 2020 Dietary Guidelines.

Begin the Foundations of Nutrition: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans course.

Referenced Resources

The following resources are referred to throughout this online course:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans External link opens in new window or tab. provides an Executive Summary, four overarching Guidelines, and Key Recommendations that provide further guidance on healthy eating across the lifespan.

  • Action for Healthy Kids Healthy Celebrations External link opens in new window or tab. Article


  • Crediting: 0.50 hours
  • Key Area: Nutrition (1000)
    • Training Topic: General Nutrition (1300)
      • Learning Objective: Dietary Guidelines for Americans (1310)

For more information on crediting, access the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) web document Professional Standards Learning Objectives External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Additional Information

For more information about nutrition education training and resources, visit the California Department of Education (CDE) Healthy Eating and Nutrition Education web page.

  • Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans External link opens in new window or tab. provides information about the federal government’s 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans.

  • CDE Nutrition Education Resource Guide provides an instructional resource for California schools, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, to implement effective, standards-based nutrition education programs for students. The guide was designed to (1) meet the Health Education Content Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (CDE 2008) in the Nutrition and Physical Activity content areas; and (2) address the nutrition competencies. Educators may use it as a resource to plan, implement, and evaluate instructional strategies for a comprehensive nutrition education program (CDE 2017).

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact the California Department of Education Nutrition Services Division by phone at 800-952-5609 or by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, February 16, 2022
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