Skip directly to: Main page content


Center for Nutrition in Schools (CNS)

UC Davis Nutrition Department
3135 Meyer Hall
University of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Phone: 530-752-3387
Email: cns@ucdavis.edu

Home > Resources > Curriculum


In response to the need for nutrition education curriculum that is evidence-based, aligned with education standards, and integrated with other subject areas, researchers at CNS have developed the resources below for use throughout the school community.  CNS also offers professional development curriculum for use by school employees.

Nutrition CompetenciesNutrition Education Competencies

In collaboration with the California Department of Education, CNS researchers have created comprehensive and sequential goals for nutrition education for California's children, pre-kindergarten through grade twelve. This includes Nutrition Education Competencies for Preschool Children and Nutrition Education Competencies Aligned with the California Health Education Content Standards (Grades K-12). These are free, downloadable resources.

Nutrition Education Resource GuideNutrition 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. The purpose of this guide is to provide an instructional resource for California schools, from kindergarten through grade twelve, 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 (California Department of Education 2008) in the Nutrition and Physical Activity content area; 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. These are free, downloadable resources.

Nutrition to Grow On Nutrition to Grow On (Grades 4-6)

Nutrition to Grow On is an innovative curriculum created by CNS Co-Director Dr. Sheri Zidenberg-Cherr and Jennifer Morris for grades four through six that offers teachers a direct link between the garden and nutrition education. Nine lessons are designed to teach children and their families about nutrition by relating each lesson to a garden activity. The curriculum uses the garden to integrate disciplines, including science, mathematics, language arts, history, environmental studies, nutrition and health, while reinforcing the California academic content standards. This is a free, downloadable resource.

Connecting the DotsConnecting the Dots...Healthy Foods, Healthy Choices, Healthy Kids!! (Preschool)

In conjunction with California Department of Education, CNS researchers have created a set of nutrition competencies and a competency-based resource guide. Connecting the Dots… is filled with materials that have been created by nutrition, health, and education experts. It has been created as a way for child care providers and teachers of preschool-aged children to have an array of teaching materials that cover the Nutrition Education Competencies. Connecting the Dots... is divided into nine sections including the competencies, teacher materials, activities, recipes, parent materials, field trip ideas, gardening materials, a section for children under two, and a list of additional resources. These cover the entire scope of the nutrition competencies and are all cross-referenced to each other. This is a free, downloadable resource.

Curricula for Child Nutrition Professionals

The following materials were created by CNS with funding from the California Department of Education to provide professional development resources for child nutrition personnel.  To find out more about professional development offered through CNS, visit our training opportunities page.

Financial Management IIFinancial Management II for School Nutrition Directors

This manual is designed for experienced school nutrition directors to explore some of the complex financial management issues, trends, and strategies in school nutrition programs. Topics include financial investigation techniques, food cost analysis, cafeteria funds, business plans, and others.  This is a free downloadable resource.

Food Safety for Child Nutrition ProgramsFood Safety for Child Nutrition Programs

These materials are available to individuals who are interested in teaching the Food Safety for Child Nutrition Programs course to child nutrition staff. This course covers major food safety concepts and regulations.

Successful Menu PlanningSuccessful Menu Planning: Transitioning to Current USDA Nutrition Standards

This manual is designed for child nutrition professionals interested in learning the current USDA Menu Planning Requirements. Topics include breakfast and lunch meal patterns, the definition of a whole grain, new fruit and vegetable requirements, offer versus serve, vegetarian options, sodium requirements, and others. In addition, related resources and tools to assist in successful menu planning are provided.  This is a free, downloadable resource.

External Resources 

Below are links to external sites with content that may be of use to individuals seeking information about curriculum related to nutrition in schools.