Nutrition Education Resources

Harvest of the Month

Each month, a new seasonal, locally grown fruit or vegetable is served on school salad bars every Wednesday for Harvest of the Month.  Teachers can show our five-minute “Virtual Farm Field Trip Videos” to their students in the classroom as a quick and easy lesson about eating healthy and eating local. San Diego Unified Food & Nutrition Services creates these videos in-house. 

Nutrition Education Curricula

These four curricula options are all sequential, evidence-based, and connected to educational standards.  California teachers can order these curricula for FREE.

  • MyPlate Curriculum
    Developed by Team Nutrition (an initiative by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service), these inquiry-based nutrition education lessons teach the importance of eating from all five food groups using the MyPlate icon and hands-on activities.  Printed materials are available to teachers whose schools participate in at least one of USDA’s Child Nutrition programs (therefore all teachers in SDUSD are eligible to order materials for free).
  • Nourish Curriculum
    Developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy, this curriculum is designed to initiate a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability.  It contains seven learning activities, various student handouts, a companion DVD, and more.  The lessons align with national curriculum standards and benchmarks.
  • Dairy Council Curriculum
    These nutrition lesson plans are sequential, aligned to standards, proven to influence students’ healthy choices, focused on five food groups, and free to California teachers.  Each grade level has a series of six to ten nutrition lessons, all created via a behavior-change model that encourages healthy-eating behaviors and attitudes in your students.
  • Big Ideas Curriculum
    Developed by the Center for Ecoliteracy and National Geographic, this K-12 curriculum identifies key concepts that link food, culture, health, and the environment.  Lessons are aligned to: Common Core; NGSS; College, Career, and Civic Life Standards; National Health Education Standards; and California Nutrition Competencies.

Edible Education Lessons

-- Created by our 2016-17 FoodCorps Service Member
Our 2016-2017 FoodCorps Service Member created this series of lessons for elementary schoolers while serving with our department. Each of the 8 lessons is designed to take about 1 to 1.5 hours, and to take place inside the classroom, incorporating interactive games, simple cooking, and healthy food tastings. The lessons have been refined based on her experiences in the classroom, and each one can easily be adapted to your needs. Hands-on nutrition education can truly work wonders, and the expression on students’ faces when they try kale for the first time cannot be beat. Please feel free to use and share these lessons with your own students!

California Food for California Kids® Lessons

The Center for Ecoliteracy developed these lessons as a part of the California Food for California Kids® Initiative to teach students about California fruits and vegetables.  Each lesson is aligned to NGSS and Common Core Standards for upper elementary, Grades 3-5.  Download them for FREE by following the links below.

  • Oranges -- A Taste of California Sunshine
    • Lesson Here
    • Students observe and describe navel oranges, compare the taste of these oranges to other citrus fruits, and explore how navel oranges have helped shape California.
  • Investigating Cabbage Traditions
    • Lesson Here
    • Students discover the cultural importance of cabbages, compare the taste and texture of different California-grown cabbage varieties, and identify family food traditions involving cabbage.
  • The Tomato Salsa Challenge
    • Lesson Here 
    • Students learn fun facts about tomatoes, compare the taste and texture of various locally grown tomato types, and create and test their own tomato salsa recipes.
  • Savoring California: A Comparative Tasting of California Fruits & Vegetables
    • Lesson Here 
    • Students taste at least two varieties of a particular kind of fruit or vegetable, develop vocabulary to describe the nuanced characteristics of the produce, and discover its growing requirements and seasonality.
  • Food and Culture: The World’s Flavor Profiles 
    • Lesson Here 
    • Students explore the food traditions of the world’s five major inhabited contents, discover each continent’s broad flavor profile, and then research a particular country’s key ingredients, seasonings, and dishes.

"No-Cook" Cooking Carts

These sturdy demonstration tables can be wheeled into the classroom or garden for a fun and interactive nutrition and/or cooking lesson.  A FREE resource for San Diego Unified schools, the carts include mixing bowls, cutting boards, knives, and a blender (no extension cord included), etc.  Create delicious recipes with your students such as smoothies, salsas, and more!

To check out a “No-Cook” Cooking Cart, please contact Amy Garfinkel at agarfinkel@sandi.net.  Send an email two weeks in advance with your name, school name, and desired dates for check-out.