Girl holding broccoli with fork.

Focus on Food: Nutrition and Health for School Nutrition Programs

Focus on Food is a learner-centered nutrition curriculum that was developed by the UC Davis California Professional Nutrition Education and Training (Cal-Pro-NET) Center in partnership with the California Department of Education.

The curriculum is designed for school nutrition program personnel, such as cooks, servers, and frontline staff, The objective of Focus on Food is to facilitate the understanding of nutrition concepts and awareness of general nutrition recommendations, while allowing participants to discover connections between these recommendations and the importance of school nutrition program requirements. This curriculum also encourages development of self-efficacy, with the goal of empowering school nutrition staff to encourage students to make healthy choices in the lunchroom.

This curriculum utilizes learner-centered methods to allow participants to investigate nutrition concepts, including: nutrients and their functions in the human body; benefits of physical activity; food recommendations based on gender, age, and level of activity; portions, serving sizes, and the Nutrition Facts Label; benefits of increasing plant-based foods in the diet; nutrients of concern; factors that influence eating behavior; Smarter Lunchrooms Movement; the connection between good nutrition and academic success; and local school wellness policies.

Focus on Food supports the USDA Professional Standards for School Nutrition Professionals, providing approximately ten hours of training. More information regarding suggested crediting can be found within the curriculum.

This curriculum is a free, downloadable resource.

Focus on Food Curriculum

Curriculum by section:

Focus on Food Expanding Knowledge PowerPoint Files

Each lesson has a supplementary "Expanding Knowledge" activity that includes a PowerPoint lecture designed to reinforce and expand on concepts learned in each lesson.

Focus on Food Newsletters

Each lesson has an accompanying newsletter that provides an opportunity for reinforcement of the material in an engaging, user-friendly format.

Suggested USDA Professional Standards Crediting Information