Farm to School programs are hailed as a pathway to local procurement of fresh farm products and access for children to critically needed nutritious meals. These programs often also include another important component to ensure children grow healthfully: nutrition education.
That’s why, in conjunction with National Farm to School Month in October, Dairy Council of California introduced Let’s Eat Healthy Together: Explore Dairy, a new no-cost resource that builds value for milk and dairy foods as part of healthy, sustainable eating patterns.
The educational unit, produced in partnership with the Lodi Unified School District, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, and the San Joaquin County Office of Education, is available in three digital formats for kindergarten through high school students. Let’s Eat Healthy Together: Explore Dairy invites students to use their senses, highlighting local, seasonal, and nutritious dairy foods through tasty pairings with fruits and vegetables.
The Explore Dairy program is designed to reconnect children with where food comes from, build appreciation and value for the food system, and support healthy eating patterns through lessons that include videos, taste tests, extension activities, and more.
Schools are increasingly becoming a focal point for efforts to adopt plant-based eating patterns, so maintaining a presence in schools is more important than ever for the dairy community. In addition to continuing to provide schools with dairy foods as part of school meals, programs like Explore Dairy and other nutrition education programs offered by the dairy community are paramount to ensuring children build an appreciation for dairy foods as part of healthy eating patterns. These lessons are needed not only during National Farm to School Month but all year long.