Success with School Nutrition Standards


Every day, tens of thousands of schools around the country are serving up breakfast, lunch, snacks, and sometimes afterschool meals to the students in their care. The nutritional content of the foods they serve is governed by federal standards outlined in the Child Nutrition Act, which is reauthorized by Congress every five years.

Hear from school leaders from coast to coast – and everywhere in between – about how these standards are helping to connect students with access to healthier meals and snacks every day. Read their stories and get the word out that school nutrition standards are helping create a healthier generation of kids!


Cutting Back on Sodium


Director of Nutrition Services Dr. Robert Lewis of California’s El Monte City School District has cut back on salt by cooking from scratch.


Try It Yourself

Silly Chili con Fusilli Recipe with low-sodium tomatoes and chicken stock.


1. In a steam kettle or tilt skillet, add the olive oil at medium heat.

2. Put in ground beef or turkey, break it up as it browns. After meat is browned, drain the fat.

3. Add onions, peppers, and garlic and cook until softened.

4. Mix the chili powder with the chicken stock and add to the meat.

5. Cook for five minutes or until reduced by ¼ .

Beefing up Fruits & Vegetables


Principal Jon Horton helped his school add a made-to-order salad bar to boost the amount of vegetables his students could choose every day.
Watch his story.



DYK: 66% of students choose fruit for lunch after @USDA improved standards, up from 54% in 2012

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Try It Yourself

Asian Salad Bowl Recipe with bell peppers, mandarin oranges, bok choy and snow peas.

1. Prepare Soba noodles according to manufacturer’s directions.

2. Shred and steam bok choy for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Cook until stalks are tender and leaves just wilted. Be careful not to overcook.

3. Chop or dice peppers.

4. Serve in 30 oz bowl.

5. Place noodles in bottom of bowl.

Swapping in Whole Grains


Former Food Service Director Susan Wood of Alabama’s Hoover City School District started making changes slowly and phased in more whole grain products into her menu.


Try It Yourself

South of the Border Pizza Recipe with whole grain flatbreads.

1. Place flatbread in a 30 oz. bowl.

2. Add salad mix, black bean and corn salsa and red pepper slices.

3. Top with sliced chicken.

4. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.

5. Place lime wedge on top of the salad.

Slashing the Sweet Stuff (Sugar!)


Principal Mickey Komins of Philadelphia’s Anne Frank Elementary School reached a turning point when on the Friday before a holiday weekend, parents of students in one classroom sent 5 sets of cupcakes for birthdays that fell over the weekend. Now his school has found healthier ways to celebrate.


Try It Yourself

Glazed Chicken and Noodles Recipe with marmalade, balsamic vinegar and low-sodium chicken stock as a glaze.

1. Defrost and clean chicken according to HACCP standards.

2. Combine ginger, oil and pepper. Drizzle ginger, oil and pepper mixture over chicken and arrange on sheet pans.

3. Cook chicken in oven at 400 degrees. Cook according to HACCP standards.

4. 10 minutes before chicken is done, brush with orange glaze.

More Successes


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