Goal: To improve the health, nutritional well-being and academic performance of North Carolina’s students through coordinated and comprehensive nutrition policies that enhances the school classroom, cafeteria and community environment and support lifelong healthful eating habits.

School breakfast programs:

  • increase learning and
    academic achievement
  • improve student attention
    to academic tasks
  • reduce visits to the school nurse
  • decrease behavioral problems
    • Murphy, Pagano, Nachmani,
      Sperling, Kane, and Kleinman, 1998

Nutrition Services is comprised of many components; the Child Nutrition Program, Nutrition Education and programs that support health eating at school and home. Program and services that provide screening, assessment, counseling and referral for nutrition problems and the provision of modified meals for students with special needs are also included.

Child Nutrition programs reflect the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other criteria to achieve nutrition integrity. The school nutrition services offer students a learning laboratory for classroom nutrition and health education, and serve as a resource for linkages with nutrition-related community services. Qualified child nutrition professionals provide these services. The Child Nutrition program provides access to a variety of nutritious, culturally appropriate foods that promote growth and development, pleasure in healthful eating, and long-term health, the prevention of school day hunger and its consequent lack of attention to learning tasks.

Nutrition education should empower students to select and enjoy healthful food and be physical activity. Nutrition education is included in the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study for grades Pre-K – 12.


Eat Smart, Move More
Eat Smart, Move More NC is a statewide initiative that promotes increased opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating through policy and environmental change.Increasing public awareness of the need for such changes to support increased physical activity and healthy eating opportunities is an integral aspect of the initiative.The ultimate goal of the initiative is to promote healthy behaviors that reduce risks and prevent disease related to inactivity and unhealthy eating behaviors.Eat Smart, Move More is a program of the Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch in the NC Division of Public Health.

Child Nutrition Programs
Child Nutrition Programs provide nutritious school meals to promote learning readiness and the opportunity to practice skills learned in classroom nutrition education. Programs in schools include the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, After School Snack Program and the Summer Food Service Program. Programs are available to all children regardless of ability to pay. Federal regulations also support the student with Special Dietary Needs. Meals are modified with a proper medical prescription without additional cost to the parent of guardian. For more information, call Child Nutrition Services with the NC Department of Public Instruction (919) 807-3506.

Team Nutrition
Approximately half of North Carolina’s schools are Team Nutrition schools. Team Nutrition provides schools with nutrition education materials for children and families, and technical assistance materials for Child Nutrition directors, cafeteria managers and staff. State agency partners provide training and technical assistance to support these programs in local schools. Team Nutrition supports the School Meals Initiative policy that school meals reflect the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For more information, call Child Nutrition Services with the NC Department of Public Instruction (919) 807-3506.

Nutrition Education and Training Program (NET)
The North Carolina NET Program, through its local, state and federal partnerships, provides leadership in promoting healthful eating habits for the state’s children. NET integrates mealtime and learning experiences to help children make informed food choices as part of a healthy lifestyle. Activities of the NET Program include a Resource Lending Library, mini-grants, workshops and a newsletter. For more information, call the NET Program with the NC Department of Health and Human Services at (919) 715-8792.

North Carolina 5 a Day Coalition
This coalition of state and local agencies, public, private and nonprofit organizations is licensed to promote the National Cancer Institute’s 5 a Day Program. Schools are primary channels that the coalition is using to encourage North Carolina children to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. For more information, call the Health Promotion Branch with the NC Department of Health and Human Services at (919) 715-3829.