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Child Nutrition Programs Resource Library

A library of online resources for program operators participating in the Child Nutrition Programs.

Overview

The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is providing a library of online resources for program operators participating in the School Nutrition Program (SNP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). These resources are made available to assist program operators with career development, compliance needs, and to enhance their Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). The resources are grouped by program and separated by topic areas. The After School Program and Food Distribution Program resources are coming soon!

For online trainings, please refer to the CNP Course Catalog web page.

Definitions

School Nutrition Programs: Within California, any of the following programs: the California Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, School Breakfast Program (SBP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Seamless Summer Option (SSO), or Special Milk Program.

National School Lunch Program: The NSLP program that assists schools and other agencies to provide nutritious lunches to children at reasonable prices.

School Breakfast Program: The SBP that assists schools and other agencies in providing nutritious breakfasts to children at reasonable prices.

Child and Adult Care Food Program: The CACFP provides nutritious meals and snacks to infants and children as a regular part of their day care.

Child Care Center: A child care center, school-age center, at-risk afterschool center, or emergency shelter. This does not include day care homes.

Center: A child care center, school-age center, at-risk afterschool center, adult day care center, or emergency shelter.

Day Care Home Provider: A day care home provider that participates in the CACFP under the auspices of a day care home sponsor.

Day Care Home Sponsor: A nonprofit or public agency that has a current, valid program agreement with the NSD to participate as a sponsor in the CACFP.

School Food Authority (SFA): An administering entity for the operation of a school feeding program. It can receive federal meal reimbursements for administering the meal programs. An SFA may be a school district, several school districts, or individual schools.

Sponsors: Sponsoring organizations that are entirely responsible for the administration of the food program for: (a) one or more day care homes; (b) two or more centers (see definition of centers); (c) a center that is a legally distinct entity from the sponsoring organization (see definition of sponsor of unaffiliated centers), or (d) any combination of the above.

After School Programs: The programs that give children and teenagers the nutrition they need, and draw them into constructive activities that are safe, fun, and filled with opportunities for learning after the school day. The federally reimbursable after school programs are under the NSLP and CACFP.  

Food Distribution Program: The program that assists agencies by making U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods available to enhance the feeding programs of participants of the CNPs.

Summer Food Service Program: A program that reimburses sponsors for administrative and operational costs to provide meals for children 18 years of age and younger during periods when they are out of school for 15 or more consecutive school days.

Seamless Summer Option: A program that encourages more public school districts and county offices of education to provide meals in low income areas during summer and certain other school vacation periods. The SSO combines features of the NSLP, SBP, and SFSP. The SSO reduces paperwork and administrative burdens and makes it easier for sponsors to feed children in low income areas during traditional summer vacation periods and during school vacation periods of longer than 10 days for year-round schools.

School Nutrition Programs

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Nutrition Education

Grade Group Resource Description
K–12 Nutrition Education Resource Guide
A resource to assist local educational agencies and after school programs in their efforts to implement well-planned, high-quality instructional programs in nutrition education.
Kindergarten Building a Healthy Me! Curriculum
This curriculum features six nutrition education lessons that introduce children to the food groups and to a variety of healthy eating options.
K–12 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Photo Cards External link opens in new window or tab.
This set of 140 beautiful photo cards can be used to encourage students to learn about and eat more fruits and vegetables. Each card list the English and Spanish name of the fruit or vegetable.
PreK–12 Team Nutrition Education Materials
Information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Team Nutrition Initiative that provides free nutrition education materials created for children in the CNP.
K–12 School Nutrition... By Design! Tool
A tool that provides the design principles behind developing a healthy school nutrition environment.
4–6 Nutrition to Grow On Curriculum
An innovative curriculum for grades four through six that offers teachers a direct link between the garden and nutrition education.

Recipes

Grade Group Resource Description
K–12 California Culinary Centers Standardized Recipes
This collection of school district culinary center recipes reflects a variety of strategies for scratch cooking, including using locally grown California produce and multicultural flavors that students love.

Cooking in the Classroom

Grade Group Resource Description
K–12 Cook with Kids! Cooking Event Planner
The Cook with Kids! Cooking Event Planner provides a variety of tips and handouts for planning and instructing cooking and nutrition education in the classroom, including equipment lists, sample recipes, and safety rules.
K–12 Classroom Cooking Cart Equipment
Provides a list of basic items for preparing food in the classroom.
2–7 Kids Cook Farm-Fresh Foods
An activity guide that links academic content standards to the real world through gardens, nutrition, cooking, recycling, and the environment.

Additional Resource Databases

To find additional resource databases, visit the:

  • Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) ICN Resources A-Z Index web page External link opens in new window or tab. has resources that support all of the CNPs such as best practices, posters, mini posters, nutrition curriculum, and more.
  • The California Department of Public Health Harvest of the Month web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides resources to help increase access and consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as encourage daily physical activity. It supports core curriculum areas through exploration and study and presents an opportunity to bring together the classroom, cafeteria, home and community to promote a common goal and healthier habits for students. 

  • The Edible School Yard Project Resource Library web page External link opens in new window or tab. has nutrition education resources that can be sorted by place of learning (kitchen classroom, garden, lunchroom, indoor classroom, etc.), grade level, subject and materials needed.
  • The Center for Ecoliteracy Resources web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides a collection of books, lessons, guides, recipes, videos, and other tools to support ecological education.
  • The California Agriculture in the Classroom Teaching Resources External link opens in new window or tab. provide a variety of agriculture resources and lessons to teachers and educators in grades K–12. You can download the resources or order a set at no cost. Resources are searchable by subject, keyword, or grade level.

Child & Adult Care Food Program

Nutrition Education

Grade Group Resource Description
PreK–12 Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Photo Cards External link opens in new window or tab.
This set of 140 beautiful photo cards can be used to encourage students to learn about and eat more fruits and vegetables. Each card list the English and Spanish name of the fruit or vegetable.
PreK–12 Healthy & Active Preschoolers
A nutrition learning center for child care professionals that offers a variety of online courses and resources to improve the nutrition and physical activity environment in child care programs.
PreK–12 Team Nutrition Education Materials
Information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Team Nutrition Initiative that provides free nutrition education materials created for children in the CNP.

Cooking in the Classroom

Grade Group Resource Description
PreK–12 Classroom Cooking Cart Equipment
A list of basic items for preparing food in the classroom.

Additional Resource Databases

To find additional resource databases, visit the:

  • Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) INC Resources A-Z Index web page External link opens in new window or tab. has resources that support all of the CNPs such as best practices, posters, mini posters, nutrition curriculum, and more.
  • The California Department of Public Health Harvest of the Month web page External link opens in new window or tab. provides resources to help increase access and consumption of fruits and vegetables as well as encourage daily physical activity. It supports core curriculum areas through exploration and study and presents an opportunity to bring together the classroom, cafeteria, home and community to promote a common goal and healthier habits for students. 
  • The Edible School Yard Project Resource Library web page External link opens in new window or tab. has nutrition education resources that can be sorted by place of learning (kitchen classroom, garden, lunchroom, indoor classroom, etc.), grade level, subject and materials needed.

Summer Food Service Program

Nutrition Education

Grade Group Resource Description
K–12
The infographic is a colorful handout that schools and community groups can distribute to parents to increase awareness of the importance of healthy choices during the summer months.
K–12
This guide is a six page color brochure that schools and community groups can distribute to parents to increase awareness of the importance of healthy food choices and physical activity during the summer months. Guides available for order or print in English and Spanish.
K–12
This hands-on kit is designed to get kids and families excited about healthy eating and physical activity during the summer months. The kit is designed for use by summer meal site operators and focuses on using music, games, art, and movement to motivate kids and families to choose more fruits and vegetables, choose water instead of sugary drinks, get enough physical activity every day, and to limit screen time. Guides available for order or print in English and Spanish.
K–12
This placemat can be given out with summer meals. It has fun physical activity call outs, nutrition education puzzle, jokes, and more.
PreK–12
Information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Team Nutrition Initiative that provides free nutrition education materials created for summer meal programs.
K–12
This set of 140 beautiful photo cards can be used to encourage students to learn about and eat more fruits and vegetables. Each card lists the English and Spanish name of the fruit or vegetable.

Additional Resource Databases

To find additional resource databases, visit the:

  • Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) INC Resources A-Z Index web page External link opens in new window or tab. resources that support all of the CNPs such as best practices, posters, mini posters, nutrition curriculum, and more.

Contacts

If you have any general questions, please contact the California Department of Education NSD by phone at 800-952-5609 or by email at HHFKA@cde.ca.gov.

Mailing Lists

Sign up to receive program information by email. By being a member of the mailing lists, you will be notified by email when there are program updates.

 

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 2, 2020
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