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Office for Food and Nutrition Programs

Team Nutrition

Mission and Principles

To improve the health and education of children by creating innovative public and private partnerships that promote food choices for a healthful diet through the media, schools, families, and the community.

Supporters of Team Nutrition share these common values:

  • We believe that children should be empowered to make food choices that reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • We believe that good nutrition and physical activity are essential to children's health and educational success.
  • We believe that school meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans should appeal to children and taste good.
  • We believe our programs must build upon the best science, education, communication and technical resources available.
  • We believe that public/private partnerships are essential to reaching children to promote food choices for a healthful diet.
  • We believe that messages to children should be age appropriate and delivered in language they speak, through media they use, in ways that are entertaining and actively involve them in learning.
  • We believe in focusing on positive messages regarding food choices children can make.
  • We believe it is critical to stimulate and support action and education at the national, state and local levels to successfully change children's eating behaviors.

Background and Creation of Team Nutrition:
Healthy School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children (SMI)

In recent years, concerns have emerged regarding the overall nutritional content of school meals. These concerns address findings that the diet of Americans has changed from being low in nutrients and adequate in calories to containing an overabundance of calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. At the same time, Americans eat too few grains, fruits and vegetables. A good diet can help to reduce the occurrence of chronic health diseases and promote good health and well-being.

As a first step in dealing with these concerns, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, issued the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which established recommendations on diet changes which, if implemented, could bring about a healthy American diet. These guidelines call for moderation and the avoidance of extremes in the diet. USDA is committed to fully implementing the Dietary Guidelines in school meals.

The USDA School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children underscores our national health responsibility to provide healthy school meals that are consistent with the Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDI), the calorie goals and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.


Team Nutrition & Training Partners

If you are interested in more information, please contact the Office for Nutrition, Health and Safety Programs at 781-338-6480.

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Last Updated: January 21, 2016
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