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Nutrition Education

Alaska

Last Updated: 1/2/2006

Although nutrition education is not required, the state has adopted standards, Skills for a Healthy Life (1999), for what students should be able to learn and know, which includes understanding how the human body is affected by behaviors related to eating habits.


Alabama

Last Updated: 10/17/2006

The Alabama Course of Study: Health Education (2003) sets the minimum content standard for teaching about nutrition for grades K-12.


Arkansas

Last Updated: 3/22/2013

Code 20-7-135 (2003) calls the State Board of Education to promulgate rules and regulations to ensure nutrition standards are implemented to provide students with the skills, opportunity, and encouragement to adopt healthy lifestyles. The State Board adopted Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012). The rules require the Department of Education to promote grade-appropriate nutrition education as a part of an integrated health education curriculum.


Arizona

Last Updated: 4/28/2012

The state adopted the Health Education Standards (2009), which includes the rationale, standards, and major content areas for comprehensive health education that includes nutrition for local districts to use in developing their curricula. Standard 1 and 7 of the Standards provides instruction in identify healthy behaviors, describing accurate health information, and making healthy food choices for grades K-12. Schools are not, however, required to follow a specific curriculum.


California

Last Updated: 2/16/2009

Education Code 49534 (no date available) and California Code of Regulation Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 15, Subchapter 1, Article 3, 15530 (1977) require local educational agencies participating in state-funded nutrition services to develop the basic elements of nutrition education programs that will coordinate classroom instruction with the food service program. Education Code 51210.4 (2002) requires the California Department of Education to incorporate nutrition education curriculum content into the next revision of the health curriculum framework. The curriculum shall be research-based and focused on pupils' eating behavior.

Education Code 51890 (2003) strongly endorses pupils receiving instruction in nutrition, which may include topics such as obesity and diabetes. Education Code 51782 (1981) encourages districts to develop educational programs for students in grades 7-12 in genetic diseases and disorders that provide practical information concerning nutrition.

Education Code 8995 (2004) encourages school administrations to offer wellness programs that provide personalized instruction about healthy eating and physical activity and ensure that nutrition services are provided at school sites.


Colorado

Last Updated: 2/18/2013

Not specifically required.

The Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Academic Standards (2009) include learning objectives around nutrition, a healthy diet and strategies for improving health in the area of nutrition.


Connecticut

Last Updated: 12/2/2011

 The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures that require schools to allow sufficient time in the curriculum for nutrition education and to incorporate these concepts throughout all subjects, as well as connecting to programs that extend beyond the school day.

Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b (1997) requires students in public schools receive instruction on nutrition. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) provides standards and a suggested curriculum framework for nutrition education. The Guidelines for a Coordinated Approach to School Health (2007) offers recommendations for number of instructional hours for each grade level in mandated content areas.  This document provides content standards and performance indicators for health education including nutrition as well as a suggested curriculum framework for local school districts.


District of Columbia

Last Updated: 4/21/2013

Rule 5-E2304 (1994) requires public schools to provide health instruction with a planned, sequential, pre K-12 comprehensive school health education curriculum that includes the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health and well-being. Comprehensive school health education shall be defined as age appropriate instruction that improves the knowledge, skills, and behaviors of students so they choose a health enhancing lifestyle and avoid behaviors that may jeopardize their immediate long term health status. Eleven content areas, including “nutrition and dietary patterns that contribute to disease”, are identified for which the Superintendent shall ensure that health instruction is taught through the use of appropriate monitoring and establishment of minimum proficiencies or learning outcomes. 


Delaware

Last Updated: 12/17/2008

Administrative Code 14:852 (2004) requires nutrition education to be an integral part of the curriculum from Pre-K to 12th grade. The Delaware Recommended Curriculum for Health Education sets uniform content standards for nutrition education for elementary, middle, and high school. The general standards cover healthy eating, accessing nutrition information and products, understanding the influences on food choices, balancing food intake and physical activity, and food safety.


Florida

Last Updated: 3/27/2013

Statute 1003.42 (2010) requires a credit in life management skills, which includes nutrition education, for high school graduation.


Georgia

Last Updated: 2/17/2013

State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.12 (2000) requires local boards to develop and implement an accurate comprehensive health and physical education program" that includes nutrition. The Quality Core Curriculum Standards and Resources recommend resources and curricula for teaching nutrition in grades K-12. The Georgia Performance Standards for Health Education (2010) include nutrition education.


Hawaii

Last Updated: 9/10/2010

The state-adopted Content and Performance Standards for Health (2005) include instruction in nutrition for grades K-12, but do not require schools to follow a specific curriculum.


Iowa

Last Updated: 10/30/2011

281 IAC 12.5 (2001) requires schools to provide instruction in health education to all students in grades 1-12, including instruction in personal health and food and nutrition. Iowa Association of School Boards  School Board Association model Wellness Policy (2010), put forth by the State Board, also recommends nutrition education be addressed at every grade level.


Idaho

Last Updated: 1/9/2006
Not specifically required.

Illinois

Last Updated: 9/2/2009

105 ILCS 110/3 (2006) and State Board of Education 23 Illinois Administrative Code Ch. 1, Section 420 (1990) require nutrition to be included in comprehensive health education curricula in all elementary and secondary schools.

105 ILCS 5/3.137 requires the Illinois State Board of Education to establish a state goal that all districts have a wellness policy.


Indiana

Last Updated: 1/16/2006

Not specifically required.


Kansas

Last Updated: 11/2/2011

Kansas does not specifically require nutrition education to be taught in schools.  Nutrition is one of the content areas for the health education standards outlined by the Kansas Model Curricular Standards for Health Education (2007).


Kentucky

Last Updated: 5/19/2013

The Kentucky Core Academic Standards (2010) require instruction for students in grades K-8 and high school that focuses on nutrition. Instruction should include identifying the basic food groups, selecting healthy snacks, forming proper eating habits and choosing appropriate servings, and understanding the impact of exercise and nutrition on appearance, performance, and disposition.

KRS 158.856 (2005) requires each local district to annually assess nutrition and physical activity in the district and provide recommendations on how the school nutrition and physical activity environments may be improved. Each district must submit its summary findings and recommendations to the Kentucky Board of Education.


Louisiana

Last Updated: 1/16/2007

The Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education formally adopted Health Education Content Standards (2002) in August 2002 with Bulletin 103 suggests students in grades K-4 should know personal health habits that promote optimal health including good nutrition, students in grades 5-8 should be able to evaluate healthy and unhealthy lifestyles including nutrition and obesity according to Standard 1.


Massachusetts

Last Updated: 11/22/2006

The state does not require students to receive instruction on nutrition education. However, learning standards for nutrition education are provided in the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework (1999).


Maryland

Last Updated: 12/28/2011

State Board of Education Regulation 13A.04.18.01 requires nutrition and fitness education as a part of the comprehensive health education.


Maine

Last Updated: 6/3/2013

Education Rule Chapter 132 (1999) requires students in grades preK-12 to be taught about healthy eating.


Michigan

Last Updated: 5/12/2008

The Model Local Wellness Policy (2005) recommends districts adopt policies where all students in preK-12 receive nutrition education aligned with the Health Education Content Standards and Benchmarks (1998) which have been revised to Health Education Content Standards (2006), K-8 Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCE) (2007) and High School Merit Credit Guidelines (2007).  Further, the Michigan State Board of Education's Policy on Comprehensive School Health Education (2004) calls for a "focus on behaviors that have the greatest effect on health, especially those related to nutrition emphasizing their short-term and long-term consequences."

Several agencies and outside organizations collaborated on the landmark The Role of Michigan Schools in Promoting Healthy Weight: A Consensus Paper (2001).

The Michigan Model for Health® includes nutrition lessons in each grade for K-6, 7-8 and high school.


Minnesota

Last Updated: 5/11/2006

Although the state requires health and physical education, nutrition education is not specifically required.


Missouri

Last Updated: 11/27/2011

Missouri's Framework for Curriculum Development in Health Education and Physical Education  (2009) recommends that students receive instruction on food and nutrition as part of the health and enhancement section for grades K-12.


Mississippi

Last Updated: 2/18/2013

Code 41-79-5 (2000) requires school nurse intervention services to provide nutrition education. Code 37-13-151 (1999) requires school districts to provide home economics education programs in grades 10, 11 or 12 that contain instruction in preparing students to assume responsibility for their care and guidance with emphasis in nutrition. The Comprehensive Health Framework (2006) specifically addresses nutrition education for grades K-12.

The state's wellness policy requires the local school board to establish a local school health council for each school, which shall ensure that community values are reflected in the local schools wellness policy to address school health.


Montana

Last Updated: 3/10/2010

State Board of Education Administrative Rule 10.54.7013 (1999) establishes the benchmark for health enhancement content standard 1 for a student upon graduation as having the ability to develop personal health enhancing strategies that encompasses nutrition.


North Carolina

Last Updated: 6/21/2007

Statute §115C-81 (2003) requires school health education to include nutrition for grades K-9. The North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) outlines the content that districts are expected to follow. Nutrition and weight management is one of the “strands” of the curriculum.  The curriculum calls for students in grades K-12 to receive instruction in achieving high-level wellness through wise nutritional choices and a variety of regular physical activity.


North Dakota

Last Updated: 12/13/2008

The North Dakota Health Content and Achievement Standards (2008) recommends content standards and gives examples of specific knowledge and activities for teaching students in grades 5-8 about nutrition according to Standard 4.


Nebraska

Last Updated: 9/16/2010

92 NAC 10-004.02A5 (no date available) mandates children in elementary school receive nutrition education as part of the overall health education curriculum.


New Hampshire

Last Updated: 12/22/2011

RSA 189:11-a (2004) requires the state board of education to prepare and distribute curriculum on nutrition education that shall be integrated into the regular course of instruction for grades K-12.

The Health Education Curriculum Guidelines (2003) recommend students in grades K-12 receive instruction in nutrition education.


New Jersey

Last Updated: 12/26/2011

The Model School Nutrition Policy (2005) requires every school's curriculum to include nutrition education. Also, the CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) includes nutrition progress indicators in Standard 2.1, which requires instruction in healthful and unhealthful foods, eating habits, weight loss and gain, and nutrition-related diseases by the end of grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12.


New Mexico

Last Updated: 12/27/2011

6.29.6.1 NMAC (2009) requires each school district and charter school to adopt wellness policies that address student ands chool employee wellness through a coordinated school health approach which shall include a planned, sequential K-12 Health Education curriculum that address physical, mental, emotional and social health and is aligned to the PED K-12 Health Education Standards (1997, revised 2006) content standards with benchmarks and performance standards as set forth in 6.29.6 NMAC, which include nutrition education.

School districts may provide nutrition programs as part of its school health program according to 6.29.1 (2009). 


Nevada

Last Updated: 9/9/2009

State Board of Education Administrative Code  389.281, 389.2944, 389.281, and 389.455 (2000) detail student performance standards in health education that include nutrition and basic food groups for grades 3, 5, 8, and high school. These standards are expounded upon in the Health Content Standards (2000). Standard 1 requires students in grades K-12 to be able to describe how healthy eating promotes growth and well-being, identify essential components of a balanced diet, and describe how age, gender, physical activity, and lifestyle affect nutrient needs.


New York

Last Updated: 12/27/2011

Commissioner's Regulation 135.1 (2004) requires students to receive instruction in nutrition. The Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences (1996) suggests a curriculum framework for students in grades K-12, but does not require it or any other be followed.


Ohio

Last Updated: 4/30/2007

ORC §3313.60 (2001) requires schools to offer a curriculum that includes health education coursework and instruction in nutritive value of foods, the relation of nutrition to health, and the use and effects of food additives. However, there are no specifics about grades, levels, or amounts of instructional time.


Oklahoma

Last Updated: 2/18/2013

Standard 3 of the PASS Integrated Curriculum: Health, Safety and Physical Education (2002) includes nurition as a key learning concept.


Oregon

Last Updated: 11/9/2010

The Health Education Standards (2005) recommend that students in grades K-12 acquire the knowledge and skills to understand and practice healthful nutrition.


Pennsylvania

Last Updated: 9/28/2010

Students in grades K-12 are required to receive instruction in health, safety and physical education, which includes teaching concepts and skills in nutrition. Details of the requirement at the elementary level can be found in 022 PA Code 4.21 (1999), at the middle level in 022 PA Code 4.22 (1999), and at the high school level in 022 PA Code 4.23 (1999).

Standard 10.1 of the binding Academic Standards for Health, Safety, and Physical Education (2003) includes nutrition education topics and describes what students should know by the end of grades 3, 6, 9 and 12. The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum for such instruction but it does require that the standards be used as a curricular framework for the development of the local curriculum.


Rhode Island

Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Section 5.1.11 of the Rules and Regulations for School Health Programs  (2009) stresses that mandated health instructional outcomes must include the role of nutrition in the promotion and maintenance of good health, the framework being the Comprehensive Health Instructional Outcomes.


South Carolina

Last Updated: 4/8/2012

Code 59-10-360 (2005) requires health curriculum for students in grades K-5 to include a weekly nutrition component. The Comprehensive Health Education Act Code 59-32-30 (2002) requires students in grades K-8 to receive instruction in health including nutritional health each year, and for students in grades 9-12 to receive instruction at least once. State Board of Education Regulation R 43-238 (1992) requires students in grades 9-12 to receive instruction in nutritional health.

Content Area 2 of the Health and Safety Standards (2000) mentions that students in grades K-12 are to receive instruction on nutritional choices, food classifications, and appropriate nutrition behaviors.


South Dakota

Last Updated: 1/8/2013

Statute 13-33-6.1 (1997) requires abstinence education as part of character education in all schools, unless the governing body elects, by resolution, effective for not less than one or more than four school terms, to do otherwise. Specific grades or details are not provided.

Curriculum Content:   The state does not require students to receive instruction on HIV,STD and Pregnancy Prevention Education. However, the South Dakota Health Education Standards (2010) broadly and collectively articulate what students should know and be able to do to adopt or maintain health-enhancing behaviors. Knowledge of core health concepts and underlying principles of health promotion and disease prevention are included in Standard 1. Standards 2 through 8 identify key processes and skills that are applicable to healthy living. Each of the 8 health education standards include performance indicators that are specific to what students should know or be able to do in support of each standard by the conclusion of each of the four grade spans. (Pre-K-Grade 2, Grade 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grade 9-12.) 

There are nine health education content areas which are organized around a combination of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Adolescent Risk Behaviors and traditional health education content areas. The content areas include: Alcohol and Other Drugs, Injury Prevention, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Family Life and Sexuality, Tobacco, Mental Health, Personal and Consumer Health and Community and Environmental Health.


Tennessee

Last Updated: 2/5/2012

Standard 4 of the Health Education Standards Grades: pre K – 8 (2008) and Standard 3 Lifetime Wellness: Grades: 9 – 12 (2007) curriculum standards require nutrition education. 

Standards and Guidelines for Tennessee’s Coordinated School Health Program 4.204 (2000) states that districts seeking funding for establishing a Comprehensive Health Education program must develop and maintain efforts in focusing on healthy nutrition habits.A learning laboratory for nutrition and health education classes is provided to help students develop the skills of selecting nutritionally appropriate foods according to Standards and Guidelines for Tennessee’s Coordinated School Health Program 4.204.


Texas

Last Updated: 9/24/2009

Education Code §38.013 (2003) requires the agency to provide one or more coordinated health programs that accounts for health education, physical education and physical activity, nutrition services, and parental involvement in each school district. 

The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Health Education (1997) recommends instruction in nutrition that includes identifying healthy and unhealthy foods, examining food labels, and healthy and unhealthy dietary practices be taught in grades K-6.


Utah

Last Updated: 2/8/2012

The Health Education Core - Secondary (2009) and Health Education Core - Elementary (1997) sets standards students in grades K-12 to receive instruction in the benefits of eating a variety of nutritious foods.


Virginia

Last Updated: 11/15/2010

8VAC20-580-100 (1994) requires schools to provide students with information on the relationship between nutrition, learning, and health through educational experiences or information in the classroom and cafeteria. More specifically, 8VAC20-320-10 (1980) requires all elementary and secondary schools to present a comprehensive health education program that focuses on providing instruction in nutrition.

The Health Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires students in grades K-10 to be able to explain good health and proper nutrition, healthy food choices, components of a balanced meal, and the connection between dietary guidelines and weight management.

House Joint Resolution No. 260 (2004) urges school districts to provide age-appropriate and culturally sensitive nutrition education to teach students how to conduct and maintain healthy eating habits..


Vermont

Last Updated: 3/26/2013

Joint Resolution 48 (2004) encourages schools to engage with their communities in developing nutrition and fitness programs to help schools understand childhood wellness programs and develop programs, activities, and policies that address inactivity and poor nutrition.

The Health Education Grade Expectations (2008) sets health knowledge and skills standards for students in grades preK-12. Standard 2 requires students to learn to identify healthy behaviors, use food labels, and understand the food pyramid.


Washington

Last Updated: 2/18/2013

RCW 28A.210.360 (2004) requires each district board of directors to adopt a policy on access to nutritious foods and developmentally appropriate exercise by August 1, 2005, based on the model policy developed by the Washington state school directors association. This model policy includes nutrition education curriculum recommendations.

The Health and Fitness Learning Standards (2008) include numerous essential academic learning requirements around nutrition and healthy eating.


Wisconsin

Last Updated: 7/16/2009

Not specifically required. However, schools are encouraged to use the Model Academic Standards for Nutrition (2009) to develop a comprehensive K-12 nutrition education program.


West Virginia

Last Updated: 2/18/2013

Board Policy 2520.5 (2012) requires students in grades K-12 to receive instruction in identifying characteristics of healthy and unhealthy foods, describing and understanding the value of the food pyramid, analyzing menus from fast food restaurants and culturally different restaurants for nutritional value, and developing decision making processes to set goals for making healthy food choices. Board Policy 4320 (2001) also recommends, as grant funds are available, that nutrition education programs be provided for students.

The Next Generation Health Education 5-12 Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools (2520.5) includes various content standards/instructional goals for nutrition education.


Wyoming

Last Updated: 3/22/2012

Mandate: Wyoming Health Content and Performance Standards (2008) mandate that students demonstrate a developmentally appropriate understanding of the relationship between nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, health behaviors and health risks.


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