Kids smiling infront of a board.

Classroom 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.

Nutrition competencies guide.

Nutrition 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 guide.

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. 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 guide

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.

Discovering healthy choices book.

Discovering Healthy Choices

Discovering Healthy Choices is a learner-centered, garden-enhanced nutrition curriculum that was developed for the Nutrition Education & Promotion component of the Shaping Healthy Choices Program. The objective of this curriculum is to facilitate understanding of nutrition concepts and development of problem-solving skills so youth can make evidence-based decisions about the foods they eat.  This is a free, downloadable resource.

Cooking healthy choices guide.

Cooking Up Healthy Choices

Cooking Up Healthy Choices is a learner-centered curriculum of cooking demonstrations that highlight seasonal produce and allows students to observe cooking techniques, deepen understanding of nutrition concepts, and experience recipes using all five senses. The recipes featured in Cooking Up Healthy Choices are represent foods from different cultures, and include a variety of fruit and vegetables. This is a free, downloadable resource.

Healthy Choices in Motion

Healthy Choices In Motion

Healthy Choices in Motion allows students to explore a comprehensive set of physical activity concepts, including the benefits of physical activity, recommendations across the lifespan, the five components of physical fitness, why doing a variety of physical activity is important, and what being physically active means to you. Concepts for this curriculum were identified from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015, CATCH, Centers for Disease Control, and California Department of Education.


Connecting the dots guide.

Connecting 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.

Team Up for Families Newsletter icon

Team Up for Families Newsletters

Team Up for Families is a newsletter series designed to supplement in-school nutrition education programming with resources for parents. The curriculum is composed of eight newsletters to support parents in promoting healthy eating habits and environments for their school-aged children. Newsletters include content related to nutrition recommendations for school aged children, parenting skills to promote quality interactions with children, and relevant developmental milestones for this age group. Each newsletter also includes interactive quizzes and family activities.

Teens Can Curriculum front page

Teens CAN: Comprehensive Food Literacy in Cooking, Agriculture, and Nutrition (Grades 9-12)

Teens CAN: Comprehensive Food Literacy in Cooking, Agriculture, and Nutrition was designed with the intention of improving food literacy of high school-aged adolescents, typically aged 13–18 years. Food literacy is comprised of overlapping knowledge and skills that are required to maintain a healthy eating pattern. This includes understanding where food comes from and being able to prepare meals that meet nutrition recommendations. Food literacy has been conceptualized for Teens CAN into three overarching topic areas: agriculture, nutrition, and cooking. Concepts within these topic areas include the food supply chain, food environments, nutrition recommendations, meal planning, food safety, and cooking techniques. The lessons are geared toward adolescents and are taught in an engaging way. This is a free, downloadable resource that is also available in Spanish.

Teens CAN Curriculum front page in Spanish

Teens CAN en Español : Alfabetización Alimentaria Integral en Cocina, Agricultura, y Nutrición (Grados 9-12)

Teens CAN en Español: Alfabetización Alimentaria Integral en Cocina, Agricultura y Nutrición se diseñó con la intención de mejorar la alfabetización alimentaria de los adolescentes de secundaria, generalmente de 13 a 18 años. La alfabetización alimentaria se compone de conocimientos y habilidades superpuestos que se requieren para mantener un patrón de alimentación saludable. Esto incluye comprender de dónde provienen los alimentos y poder preparar comidas que cumplan con las recomendaciones nutricionales. La alfabetización alimentaria se ha conceptualizado para los Teens CAN en Español en tres áreas temáticas generales: agricultura, nutrición y cocina. Los conceptos dentro de estas áreas temáticas incluyen la cadena de suministro de alimentos, los entornos alimentarios, las recomendaciones nutricionales, la planificación de comidas, la seguridad alimentaria y las técnicas de cocina. Las lecciones están dirigidas a adolescentes y se enseñan de una manera atractiva. Este es un recurso descargable gratuito que también está disponible en inglés.

External resourcesExternal Resources

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