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Free downloadable resources for families, food service professionals, and educators. The collection includes lessons, guides, recipes, essays, tips, studies, tools, and more.


For Families

California Tastes Amazing

California Tastes Amazing

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

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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For Food Service Professionals

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.

21 School Meals Featuring California Foods

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

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.

Celebrating California Food for California Kids

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

School-Community Kitchens

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

Rethinking School Lunch Oakland Feasibility Study

A roadmap for comprehensive reform of nutrition services.

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.

Wellness Policy Guide

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

California Tastes Amazing

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

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For Educators

Students Identify Interactions in the Garden

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

Make a Mini Greenhouse from a CD Case

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

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.

School Lunch Survey

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

Linking Food, Culture, Health, and the Environment

Explore an enriched school environment through this visual guide.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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