Enhancing the Nutrition Environment for School Meals

Project ReFresh, operating from 2010 to 2012, was a school-based intervention program aimed at improving nutrition and health decisions among students in Title I elementary schools in Maryland. This program strived to integrate classroom education with cafeteria improvements that help students choose more fruits and vegetables through the use of environmental nudges. A toolkit of cafeteria improvement strategies aimed to structure choices in the cafeteria environment, market and promote healthy foods, enhance interactions between cafeteria staff and students, and improve student decision-making in the cafeteria.

Beginning in 2012, the program was re-envisioned as the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act Project, which has many of the same goals and tools as Project ReFresh.  The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act Project uses classroom education and cafeteria environmental improvements to help Maryland Title I elementary schools comply with the new school lunch standards outlined in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

The resources and content on this page are for Maryland’s Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) participating in the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act Nutrition Environment grant.  

Cafeteria Materials

Click on the link to download materials that can be used to improve the nutrition environment in your school(s) or home(s). These resources were shared with you at the May 31, 2013 nutrition environment training. A couple of small updates were made since the meeting.

Classroom Materials

 Click here to view the curriculum being used in 4th and 5th grade elementary school classrooms across the State of Maryland. Review the lessons to identify ways to connect school cafeteria activities with the monthly lessons being taught in the classroom.

Communicating With Parents and Caregivers

Here are two resources that can facilitate the understanding of what is being served in Maryland’s School Meals as well as understand the best ways to communicate to these important individuals.

Refresh Team Nutrition Materials

Learn more about the 2010 Maryland Team Nutrition Refresh grant by reading through the promising practices publication and the toolkit. You will find some important tools and resources that can be utilized in your sub-grant in the Refresh Toolkit and read more personal stories and best practices from schools doing similar activities.

    Evaluation Tools

    Click here to view the school nutrition environment observation and residential child care institutions nutrition environment observation forms. As we discussed at the May 31, 2013 nutrition environment training, we would like LEAs to conduct a pre-evaluation by September 30, 2013 and a post-evaluation by June 30, 2014. An upload feature is now available for you to upload documents and photos under the "Evaluation Tools" link, above. If you have more than five schools, please send us a sample of the observation forms, no more than five.  Also, you will find a student evaluation form that you can use to gain a better understanding of what fruits and vegetables the students like or dislike.