Power Up Nutrition Education

  • Each month, Nutrition Services focuses on a different theme to support the teaching of nutrition education. 

June: Get Out & Play

Power Up this summer with:sun

May: Hydration

  • Keeping your body hydrated will help your brain learn in school.water
  • Our brains are about 80% water. Think of a juicy grape as your brain hydrated, or a raisin as your brain dehydrated. What do you want your brain to look like?
  • Water helps your body grow! Every cell and organ in your body requires water to function properly. Staying hydrated helps regulate body temperature, keeps your joints lubricated, prevents infections, keeps organs function properly, and helps deliver nutrients to cells.
  • Water helps your digestive system.
  • When children (and adults) eat sugar, it creates a physical reaction in the body: The brain releases dopamine, a feel-good chemical that can improve mood in the short term, and the body produces insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. However, too much sugar can create insulin-resistance, which often leads to diabetes.
  • Consuming too much sugar suppresses your immune system, so your body can’t fight off infections.

Learn more:

April: Bone Health

Strong bones play an important role in protecting our internal organs, and holding our bodies upright. Teeth are bones too, and they help usbone eat and talk. Help keep your bones strong by:

  • Eating foods with calcium
    • Milk and foods made from milk
    • Green leafy vegetables
    • Beans
    • Milk alternatives that are labeled as calcium fortified
  • Being physically active every day
    • 60 minutes per day for kids
  • Eating fruits and vegetables every day. Some vitamins and minerals we get from fruits and vegetables help our body absorb calcium.
    • Vitamin K
    • Magnesium
  • Getting vitamin D so our bodies can absorb calcium
    • Drink milk and orange juice fortified with vitamin D
    • Eat cereals fortified with vitamin D
    • Eat egg yolks
    • Eat fish
    • Spend time in the sunshine!

Learn more about keeping your bones healthy in this flier.

March: Score Big with School Breakfast

We'd love for students to eat a nutritious breakfast at school, but if they choose not to, we hope they eat one at home. Eating breakfast has many benefits:school breakfast

  • Along with sleep and physical activity, eating breakfast is one of the best ways to recharge your batteries.
  • Kids who eat breakfast have more energy, improved concentration and better grades, and generally are happier and healthier. Kids who eat breakfast consume a higher daily number of key nutrients.
  • What happens when a car runs out of gas?  It stops and cannot go. It quits. Our bodies are like that in the morning. We have been sleeping all night, so we need to fuel it up so we can come to school and learn and play with our friends.

Ask kids if they ate breakfast -- studies have shown that if a child is asked about eating breakfast they are 30 percent more likely to eat it the next day.

Learn more in this Healthy Choices for Your Family flier.

February: Heart Health

Tips for Heart Health

  • Get more fiber in your diet! Choose fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts to give your body the fiber it needs. GO FOODS!heart
  • Cut your saturated fats. Too much can clog arteries.
  • Be physically active. For adults, 150 minutes per week, and for kids, 60 minutes per day.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Manage your stress by incorporating a hobby, such as meditation or yoga, that helps you relax.

Learn more in this informational flier.

January: Whole Grains

When eating grains, look at the label to see if you see the word "whole" in the ingredient list.whole grain  Be aware of these words:

  • Refined grains are milled to have had the germ and bran removed, which gives them a finer texture and extends their shelf life. The refining process also removes many nutrients, including fiber. Refined grains include white flour, white rice and white bread. Many breads, cereals, crackers, desserts and pastries are made with refined grains.
  • "Enriched" means that some of the nutrients lost during processing are replaced. Some enriched grains have replaced the B vitamins lost during milling. Fortifying means adding in nutrients that don't occur naturally in the food. Most refined grains are enriched, and many enriched grains also are fortified with other vitamins and minerals, such as folic acid and iron. Whole grains may or may not be fortified.

⇒ Whole grains keep you feeling full longer.
⇒ Whole grains help your digestion system by helping food move through your body quickly and easy.
⇒ Eating whole grains can help reduce acne in teens.
⇒ Try making ½ your grains whole grains!

Learn more about the benefits of whole grains in this flier.

December: Go, Slow & Whoa Foods

stop light There are no bad foods -- only foods you should eat more of and foods you should eat less of.

Go Foods 

  • Help boost your immune system, so you don’t get sick or as sick 
  • Give you the most nutrients for your body and will help you learn better 

Slow Foods 

  • Have some nutrients -- that's why we call them slow 

Whoa Foods 

  • Have added salt, sugar, and/or fat
  • Lower your immune system and can prevent learning 

Learn more about go, slow, and whoa foods here.

November: Reading a Food Label

The Nutrition Facts panel on a food package tells you many things about the food inside. nutrition label

Choose nutrients wisely! Get more of

  • Dietary Fiber
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium-
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Get less of

  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Sodium
  • Added Sugar

Check the serving size and serving per container. The information listed is based on one serving.

Calories refers to the total number of calories in one serving.

% Daily Value (%DV) is a guide to a nutrient in one serving of food. For example, 25% Vitamin D means one serving provides 25% of the Vitamin D you need each day. General guide:

  • 5% DV of less of a nutrient is considered low.
  • 20% DV or more of a nutrient is considered high.

Best if Used-By” or “ Best Before”

  • When a product's flavor and quality will be best.
  • The product is still safe to eat even though nutrients and quality slowly decline.

“Sell By”

  • Found on refrigerated foods such as milk, yogurt, cheese, egg, lunch meat, and packaged salad.
  • Stores must sell these foods by this date even though they are still safe to eat.

Dairy Shelf Life – After Sell-By Date

  • Milk - 1 week
  • Yogurt - 2 weeks
  • Soft Cheese - 1-2 weeks
  • Eggs - 4-5 weeks
  • Hard cheese - 6 months

October: Eat Local!

Local foods are fresher and seasonal, usually have less environmental impact, preserve green space, promote food apple safety and variety, and support the local economy.

Easy and inexpensive ways to eat local include:

  • Shopping at Farmers' Markets
  • Joining a Community Supported Agriculture co-op
  • Eating seasonal food
  • Freezing seasonal food
  • Growing your own food

Learn more and find a tasy seasonal recipe here.

September: MyPlate

Healthy choices for your family with MyPlate! myplate graphic Eat from all five food groups every day. Think variety! Your brain is more powerful, more complex and more clever than any computer ever built. Help keep your brain and body healthy by eating a variety of foods from each food group every day.


  • 90% of all strawberries are produced in California
  • Strawberries are a fruit grown on flowering plants in the rose family
  • Watermelon is grown 44 different states in the summer months


  • The average ear of corn has 800 kernels in 16 rows
  • There is one silk for every kernel
  • A cob will have an even number of rows


  • Grains are a type of grass that produce seeds that can be eaten
  • Grains are high in the nutrient carbohydrates, which gives our body energy


  • Proteins grow, maintain, and replace the tissues in our bodies. Our muscles, organs, and immune systems are mostly made of protein
  • Keratin is a type of protein that our hair, nails, and outer skin is made of


  • Cows eat about 100 lbs of food every day and drinks 50 gallons of water
  • To get the amount of calcium in an 8 oz glass of milk, you’d have to eat ¼ cup of broccoli, seven oranges or six slices of wheat bread 
  • Calcium is a mineral found in many foods. The body needs calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth while carrying out many important functions. Almost all calcium is stored in bones and teeth.
  • Our bodies cannot produce calcium; we only get it from the foods we eat

Learn more.

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