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Resources

Free resources for school nutrition professionals, educators, and families. 

Resources

For Food Service Professionals

turlock students taste kale

School Food Innovator Series

February 28: Lead Engaging Student Taste Tests

students enjoy school meal outside

Seven Proven Strategies to Increase Students’ Time to Eat

Providing sufficient time to eat school breakfast and lunch benefits both students and the school meal program.

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Celebrating California’s Investments in School Nutrition Professionals 

The Center for Ecoliteracy welcomed state officials to a culinary training with San Luis Coastal and Live Oak Unified School Districts.

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California’s School Meals for All Program Proves More Students Eat When Meals are Free

California Student’s Participation in School Meals Outperforms National Trends

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This Student Has a Bold Vision for the Future of School Meals

An interview with Anahi Nava Flores, student leader at Mt. Diablo Unified

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turlock students taste kale

Julien Elementary Students Enjoy California-Grown Produce in the Central Valley

Jennifer Lew-Vang, Registered Dietician and Director of Child Nutrition for Turlock Unified School District, is on a mission to introduce students to new local foods.

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cherry tomatoes arranged on a plate

Support for Summer Meals

Virtual gatherings for California school nutrition professionals focused on leadership, inspiration, and cultivating a successful school nutrition program.

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Celebrating School Meals for All at Los Angeles Unified School District

The Center for Ecoliteracy gathered with fellow co-sponsors and state leaders to celebrate the landmark policy at the state’s largest school district.

People and Passion Drive Riverside’s Innovative Farm to School Model

In the world of fresh, local school food, the passionate people in Riverside, California, are trailblazers.

Fresh from California Posters

Download posters featuring California farmers and produce to display in your cafeteria.

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Plant-Forward School Meal Resources

Recipes, culinary techniques, and student engagement materials for success in crafting plant-forward school meals.

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Plant-Forward Culinary Training

Empower your staff to prepare plant-forward dishes that students love with a virtual culinary training this September.

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Ingredient Guide for Better School Food Purchasing

A resource for school food leaders committed to improving the overall quality, nutritional value, and safety of school food.

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COVID-19 Menu Planning Strategies

A practical guide with flexible strategies for your school menus to adapt to the changing demands of COVID-19 meal service.

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COVID-19 Emergency Meal Service Resources

COVID-19 resources, toolkits, and tip sheets that support school nutrition programs during emergency meal service.

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COVID-19 Return to School Planning Resources

COVID-19 planning templates, reopening protocols, and additional resources that support school nutrtition programs in return to school planning efforts.

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Community of Practice Calls on Emergency Food Service

This free series offers an opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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5 Ways to Increase Participation with Customizable Menu Options

Providing customizable menu options to increase lunch participation.

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Preparing California-Grown School Meals: A Professional Development Guide

A guide to engaging foodservice staff and inspiring the confidence to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables in school meal programs.

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Rethinking School Lunch Guide

Rethinking School Lunch Guide

A planning framework for improving school food, supporting sustainable food systems, and teaching and integrating curriculum around food issues.

Celebrating California Food for California Kids

A video honoring California's abundance, and supporting children's health, education, and the state's economy. 

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21 School Meals Featuring California Foods

Scaled and tested recipes for reimbursable school meals featuring fresh ingredients. 

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Making the Case for Healthy, Freshly Prepared School Meals

Check out our tools for demonstrating the academic, health, environmental, and financial benefits of high-quality, appealing school meals.

Cooking with California Food in K-12 Schools

Our acclaimed cookbook and professional development guide by award-winning authors Georgeanne Brennan and Ann M. Evans.

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School-Community Kitchens

A new partnership for supporting health, academic achievement, and community vitality.

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Rethinking School Lunch Oakland Feasibility Study

A roadmap for comprehensive reform of nutrition services.

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California Tastes Amazing

Recipes, based on popular school meals, that parents and children can cook together at home.

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Fresh from California: Menu Planning Support Sessions

Best practices for plant-forward menu planning and substitutions, recipe development, and nutrition analysis.

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Celebrating School Meals for All at Los Angeles Unified School District

The Center for Ecoliteracy gathered with fellow co-sponsors and state leaders to celebrate the landmark policy at the state’s largest school district.

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Strategies for Freshly-Prepared

Virtual gatherings for school nutrition professionals focused on building resilient school food systems in California.

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Fresh from California

A free campaign to increase access to California-grown fruits and vegetables in schools.

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Jennifer Orosco, Natomas Unified School District

California Food for California Kids Events and Resources

Participate in our new offerings for the 2021-22 school year designed to support your school meal program.

Community of Practice Call June 3, 2021

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Community of Practice Call May 6, 2021

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Build Regional Support

Collaborate with others to increase capacity and reach a broader audience.

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Support Your Team's Success with Fresh, Local Food

Virtual gatherings for school nutrition professionals focused on building resilient school food systems in California.

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Community of Practice Call April 1, 2021

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Farm to Summer Planning Guide

A guide for programs that support local communities and celebrate California’s agricultural abundance when school is not in session.

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Community of Practice Call March 4, 2021

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Offer Enriching Experiences

Provide meaningful educational experiences and engaging activities.

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Spotlight on Farm to School

Virtual gatherings for California school nutrition professionals focused on leadership, inspiration, and cultivating a successful school nutrition program.

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Community of Practice Call February 4, 2021

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Design Compelling Marketing

Use clear, targeted messaging to drive increased participation.

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People and Passion Drive Riverside’s Innovative Farm to School Model

In the world of fresh, local school food, the passionate people in Riverside, California, are trailblazers.

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Community of Practice Call January 14, 2021

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Conduct Community Outreach

Connect with community members to spread the word about your program.

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Putting School Meals for All into Practice

Virtual gatherings for California school nutrition professionals focused on leadership, inspiration, and cultivating a successful school nutrition program.

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Community of Practice Call December 3, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Plan a Farm to Summer Menu

Take advantage of seasonal savings on healthy and delicious produce.

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California School Nutrition Directors Celebrate Historic Investments in School Meals

As the new school year begins, school nutrition leaders share their thoughts with the Center for Ecoliteracy on California’s historic $2 billion investment in school meal programs.

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Community of Practice Call November 5, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Community of Practice Call October 1, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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What is a California Thursdays Meal?

What is a California Thursdays Meal?

Try this interactive tool and see.

Fresh from California: Menu Planning Support Session #4

Student Taste Testing

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Community of Practice Call September 3, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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The Impact of School Meals for All

Perspectives of students, parents, and school nutrition leaders across the state after a year of the program in action.

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Fresh from California: Menu Planning Support Session #3

Sustainable Salad Bars

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Community of Practice Call August 20, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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5 Food Service Staff Innovators Serving Freshly-Prepared Meals with Care

Celebrating five food service professionals and how they strive to do more for their students.

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Fresh from California: Menu Planning Support Session #2

Allergies and Special Diets

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Community of Practice Call August 6, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Fresh from California: Menu Planning Support Session #1

Culturally Diverse Cuisines

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Community of Practice Call July 23, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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Photographing School Food: A Practical Guide to Making California School Meals Look Great

Your food deserves great photography. Our practical guide helps you improve the visual appeal of all your school meals.

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Meaningful Student Engagement Strategies

Student taste tests are a fun and engaging strategy for eliciting student voice and choice and have proven to have a positive impact on meal participation.

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Wellness Policy Guide

A guide to help you review, revise, and update your local wellness policy.

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Community of Practice Call July 9, 2020

An opportunity for districts to connect with one another, share ideas, and build connections with partners across the state.

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For Educators

teacher and students pick peapods in a field

Bay Area Bountiful: The Center for Ecoliteracy

Hear from the Center for Ecoliteracy and Santa Clara Unified School District on the value of connecting the school farm to the classroom and cafeteria.

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woman harvests kale

Farm to School

Our bilingual short film showcases the Pajaro Valley Unified School District and the power of youth leadership in the farm to school movement.

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Connecting the Cafeteria, Classroom, and Garden

Watch as students meet a local farmer, try organic berries, and show off the bounty of their school garden.

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How to Plan a Student-Centered Farmer Visit to Your School

A guide for schools to plan and host student-centered visits from local farmers.

student with lunch tray

Success with School Meals for All

A guide for school district administrators on navigating successful implementation of the new School Meals for All policy.

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Nourishing Students: Enrichment Activities for Grades K-5

Enrichment activities engage students in exploring the bounty of California-grown fruits and vegetables in after-school, out-of-school, and summer programs.

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Fruits and Vegetables: Coloring Pages

Fun and educational coloring pages with fruits and vegetables.

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Abundant California Educational Resources

Everything we eat has a story to tell. The Abundant California suite teaches students in grades 3–5 about California crops and introduces them to the food system that sustains us all.

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Understanding Food and Climate Change: An Interactive Guide

An interactive guide for educators, students, and advocates that explores how food systems and our changing climate interact, and how personal choices can make a difference.

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Understanding Food and Climate Change: A Systems Perspective

Exploring the links between food systems and our changing climate from a systems thinking perspective.

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Food and Culture Project: The World's Flavor Profiles

Students in grades 3-5 examine the food traditions that form the basis of different cuisines around the world. 

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Nourishing Students: Posters

Connecting children with nature and nutritious California-grown fruits and vegetables.

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Food and Culture Project: The Migration of Food

Lesson for grades 6-8: Students research the origin and migration of ingredients from five different regions of the world.

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Make a Mini Greenhouse from a CD Case

Use a recycled CD case to make a mini greenhouse and observe seedlings as they develop. 

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Starting with Soil

An iPad app from the Center for Ecoliteracy and Whole Kids Foundation offers a playful, visually rich way to help kids understand that soil is a living system full of fascinating relationships.

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The Tomato Salsa Challenge

Students in grades 3-5 learn surprising facts about California tomatoes and extend their learning through comparison tasting and a hands-on tomato salsa challenge.

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School Lunch Survey

Lesson for grades 6-8: Students learn about conducting surveys and presenting recommendations for improving their district's meals. 

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Savoring California: A Comparative Tasting of California Fruits and Vegetables

Lesson for grades 3–5: Students sample different fruit or vegetable varieties, learn about seasons, microclimates, and growing requirements.

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Oranges: A Taste of California Sunshine

Students in grades 3-5 read about Eliza Tibbets, a California food pioneer, and extend their learning through observation and comparing the tastes of navel oranges to other citruses. 

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Investigating Cabbage Traditions

Students in grades 3-5 examine the cultural importance of cabbages, conduct a comparison tasting of varieties grown in California, and explore related family food traditions.

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Students Identify Interactions in the Garden

A video showing how third-graders explore interactions among diverse plants and animals in their school garden. 

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Big Ideas: A New Alignment with Academic Standards

Created in partnership with National Geographic, with examples of learning experiences that link food, culture, health, and the environment.

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Linking Food, Culture, Health, and the Environment

Explore an enriched school environment through this visual guide.

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How to Plan a Student-Centered Farmer Visit to Your School

A guide for schools to plan and host student-centered visits from local farmers.

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Eating Learning Growing

Resources from our professional development workshop on culturally relevant farm to school education.

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Eating Learning Growing Resources

Award-Winning Graphics that Celebrate Students’ Cultures and California Fruits and Vegetables

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Farm to School Preview

The Center for Ecoliteracy's short film Farm to School has been selected for the 2023 Watsonville Film Festival.

Gather Viewing Guide

Discuss and explore Native American food sovereignty in the classroom through the award-winning documentary film.

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For Families

5 Things Families Can Do

Five things you can do to learn about school meals.

Make a Mini Greenhouse at Home from a CD case

Use a recycled CD case at home to make a mini greenhouse and observe seedlings as they develop. 

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