Louisiana Team Nutrition

Student Eating Lunch at W. Smith Jr. Elementary School

About

The Louisiana Department of Education and Well-Ahead Louisiana have teamed up to support healthier schools with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Team Nutrition Training Grant.

The three-year grant will allow the Louisiana Department of Education and Well-Ahead Louisiana to support healthier school environments that are conducive to healthy eating and physical activity through resources, funding and professional development to schools.

Bains Elementary School

Featured Team Nutrition School

Nutrition Nuggets Newsletters provide busy parents with practical ways to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity for their children. The newsletters, full of recipes, tips for smart snacking and physical activity ideas, come home in students’ backpacks each month! Bains Elementary in St. Francisville, Louisiana has incorporated the Nutrition Nuggets into their Team Nutrition Program. In fact, the 5th grade students celebrated the end of the year with healthy snack bags - full of yogurt, apple slices, raisins, baby carrots, and bottled water. Way to go Bains! You are Louisiana Fit Kids!

Bains Elementary School
Lee High School Cafeteria (East Baton Rouge Parish)

Successes from Year 1

Bains Elementary (West Feliciana Parish)

Bains Elementary implemented a bagging system for fresh fruits and vegetables at lunch time for students to choose additional healthy options to their meal. They call this program Healthy Choices. The school reports that more students are choosing to add these healthy options to their meals!

Bains Lower Elementary (West Feliciana Parish)

Bains Lower also chose to implement the Healthy Choices system, which allowed students to grab extra fruits and vegetables to add to their school lunch. The school says they saw an increase in the number of students choosing to add these healthy choices.

Bayou Chicot Elementary (Evangeline Parish)

Recognizing that healthy living doesn’t stop at the end of the school day, Bayou Chicot began hosting family wellness events that encouraged whole families to try new exercises and new foods through taste testing. The school is hopeful that these events will result in whole families increasing activity together, and being interested in trying unfamiliar healthy foods together at home.

Evangeline Elementary (Lafayette Parish)

Updates coming soon.

Iota Elementary (Acadia Parish)

Through partnerships with local farmers, Iota Elementary was able to offer several taste tests for students throughout the year, exposing them to fruits and vegetables that some students had never tried before. Now, school staff are noticing that students are more willing to try new foods in the cafeteria too!

Mary D. Coghill Charter (Orleans Parish)

Updates coming soon.

Northside High (Lafayette Parish)

Northside High initiated family wellness events and incorporated taste tests using new carts. They also implemented a bagging system for fresh fruits and vegetables for healthy grab-and-go snacks for students. In addition, Northside was able to partner with a local university for enhancements to the existing school garden and host a professor to talk with students about agriculture.

Opelousas High (St. Landry Parish)

Through a partnership with Southern University Ag Center, and with funds provided by Louisiana Team Nutrition, Opelousas High School was able to drastically enhance the school garden on campus. This garden is used in agriculture education and also provides troubled students with a creative outlet. Some students even asked if they could come work in the garden in the summer! Next year, the school hopes to be able to incorporate some of the foods grown at the school into menu items in the cafeteria.

Raintree Elementary (St. Mary Parish)

Raintree Elementary is most proud of their new snack kiosk, which allowed students to have healthy snack options during recess. The kiosk is also used as a taste testing station during parent meeting days and as a second service line in the cafeteria for students to select healthy add-ons during lunchtime.

ReNEW Schaumburg Elementary (Orleans Parish)

ReNEW Schaumburg was pleased to introduce nutrition education lessons to their students. They are excited to enhance the lessons next year with a tower garden at their newly renovated school site!

Rosenwald Elementary (Pointe Coupee Parish)

Rosenwald Elementary held its 1st annual MyPlate Art Contest. Students drew on their knowledge about the food groups from nutrition education lessons to draw pictures of their favorite healthy meal. Students brought the activity home and were encouraged to complete their drawing with their families. After submitting their artwork, 3 winners received baskets with healthy snacks, and all the students who participated got to see their work on display in the cafeteria.

Stephensville Elementary (St. Martin Parish)

Stephensville Elementary Student Healthy Lifestyle Drawings Updates coming soon. For information about the Stephensville Elementary project, view the Serving Up MyPlate Blog Post.

Valverda Elementary (Iberville Parish)

In addition to the implementation of a mobile garden, cleverly named "Garden on the Geaux," Valverda Elementary saw drastic growth in their Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard. This assessment tool offers strategies rooted in behavioral economics to increase consumption of healthy foods in the cafeteria.

W. Smith Jr. Elementary (St. Bernard Parish)

The bountiful supply of home-grown, fresh lettuces and herbs grown by Smith Elementary’s tower garden exposed students to fresh produce, some for the first time in their lives. The school was pleasantly surprised how eager and willing students were to try new foods, and report seeing the same attitude in the cafeteria.

Did You Know?

MyPlate Image
Research shows that students who participate in the school meal programs consume more milk, fruits, and vegetables during meals than nonparticipants. In addition, eating breakfast at school is associated with better attendance rates, fewer missed school days, and better test scores. Meals served through these programs must meet specific nutrition requirements.

Cypress Cove Elementary School (St. Tammany Parish) Cafeteria Workers

Moving Louisiana’s Health Forward

Things you can do to support the mission of Louisiana Team Nutrition:

Review school menus with your child, and encourage them to try new items.
Offer to help with taste tests or other nutrition promotion activities.
Join the school or district committee (e.g., wellness committee) that sets the policies for health and wellness, and work to include language about school meal programs.
Thank the school nutrition staff for preparing healthy meals for students. Work with other parents and school staff to provide special recognition for the school nutrition staff for serving healthy meals.

Contact

Erica Gilliam, M.S.
Program Consultant
Healthy Communities Section
Louisiana Department of Education
504-723-9148
erica.gilliam@la.gov

Stephanie Jodeir
School Nutrition Educator
Well-Ahead Louisiana
Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health
(504) 556-5608
stephanie.jodeir@la.gov

Partners

Well-Ahead Louisiana Logo Louisiana Team Nutrition Logo Louisiana Department of Education Logo

This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The contents of this publication do not necessarily reflect the view or policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.