Oct-Nov-Dec 2016

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Team Nutrition
By Linda Schloer, Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Director 

Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity.
 
Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are invited to sign up as Team Nutrition Schools, and join an important network of schools working towards healthier school nutrition and physical activity environments. Today, almost half of the schools participating in the National School Lunch Program have signed up to be Team Nutrition Schools!   Sign Up
 
Why should your school join the team?
Signing up to be a Team Nutrition School is free and easy. Schools should designate a Team Nutrition Leader and have the support of their school nutrition director and school principal. By signing up, schools will:
  • Affirm their commitment to helping students make healthier food choices and be more physically active.
  • Have the opportunity to collaborate with other Team Nutrition Schools.
  • Be the first to hear about new nutrition education and training materials developed under the Team Nutrition initiative.
  • Receive special nutrition education and promotion materials.
  • Be eligible to apply for a HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms award, a voluntary certification of excellence with national recognition.
  • Have the opportunity for their Team Nutrition activities to be highlighted on social media and in print publications. See our Team Nutrition Popular Events Idea Booklet for examples.
The Team Nutrition Messages
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the basis of federal nutrition policy, education, outreach, and food assistance provided through the Child Nutrition Programs. The Team Nutrition initiative helps schools, child care settings, summer meal sites, parents/caregivers, and children put the Dietary Guidelines for Americans into action through training, technical assistance, and nutrition education.  

The MyPlate icon uses a familiar image - a place setting for a meal - to prompt consumers to build a healthy plate at mealtime. MyPlate also illustrates the five food groups, reminding everyone that these foods are the building blocks of a healthy diet. Team Nutrition helps communicate MyPlate messages to children and their caregivers through a variety of innovative delivery methods including hands-on activities, electronic games, songs, videos, lessons, stories, events, tweets, graphics, and gardens.

How to Get Team Nutrition Materials
Looking for all of Team Nutrition’s information and resources in one place? Look no further than the NEW Team Nutrition Resource Catalog. It includes a full listing of all of Team Nutrition materials. All Team Nutrition resources are available on the Team Nutrition Web site in our Resource Library. Schools, child care providers (centers, sponsors, and day care homes), and summer meal sites that participate in USDA Child Nutrition programs may request free printed copies of certain materials. Printed materials may also be requested by the State agency administering the USDA Child Nutrition programs and school districts. Eligible entities may request printed copies using our online order form.