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Healthier US School Challenge. Promoting a Healthy School Environment. Recognize a school’s commitment Taking a leadership role Improving nutritional quality of meals served Providing more nutritious choices Providing opportunities for nutrition education and physical activity.

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Healthier us school challenge l.jpg

Healthier USSchool Challenge

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Promoting a Healthy School Environment

  • Recognize a school’s commitment

    • Taking a leadership role

    • Improving nutritional quality of meals served

    • Providing more nutritious choices

    • Providing opportunities for nutrition education and physical activity

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How Does It Work?

  • Voluntary program

  • Schools must meet or exceed criteria

  • Apply for Bronze, Silver or Gold certification

  • Certified for 2 years following certification

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  • Be an elementary school

  • Be a Team Nutrition School

  • Offer reimbursable lunches that demonstrate healthy menu planning practices and meet USDA nutrition standards

  • Provide nutrition education

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Criteria (cont’d)

  • Provide opportunity for physical activity

  • Maintain an ADP of at least 70% for Silver or Gold, 62% for Bronze

  • Adhere to USDA nutrition standards for foods and beverages served/sold

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3 fruits/5 vegetables

Dark green/orange fruit or vegetable

Fresh fruit/raw vegetable

Vitamin C

Whole grain foods

4 different entrées or meat/meat alternate; limit higher fat entrées

Dried beans/peas


Lowfat/nonfat milk

Lunch Menu Weekly Criteria

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Any fruit or non-fried vegetable

Reduced fat, lowfat, nonfat milk

100% juice


Other food/beverage:

≤35% of calories from fat

≤10% of calories from saturated fat

≤35% total sugar

A la carte portion size not to exceed NSLP portion

Individual packages not to exceed 200 calories

Criteria for Competitive Foods

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Gold Criteria

  • School meets all Bronze/Silver criteria

  • Adheres to USDA nutrition standards about competitive foods throughout the school day, anywhere on the school campus

  • Offers daily lunches with

    • fresh fruit or raw vegetable

    • whole grain food

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Local Certification Review Panel

  • Foodservice manager and district-level foodservice director

  • Team Nutrition School Leader

  • Parent organization representative

  • A school nurse, CSH representative, PE or classroom teacher

  • School Principal or Administrator

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Application Packet

Step 1

  • Local Review Panel evaluation

    Step 2

  • State Agency evaluation

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State Agency Validation

  • The Application Packet is complete

  • Submitted menus meet criteria

  • SFA has completed SMI review activities; no outstanding CRE audit issues or claims

  • Nutrition education and physical activity

  • ADP at least 70% of enrollment (62% for Bronze)

  • Foods and beverages meet criteria

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Application Packet

Step 3

  • State submits application to FNS Regional Office

    Step 4

  • Region reviews and submits application to FNS Headquarters

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  • School receives a plaque and banner

  • School is recognized on the Team Nutrition website

  • Special event held at

    most schools/districts

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Application Packet,

Criteria & Instructions,

Frequently Asked Questions,

and Resources:

HealthierUS School Challenge

Click on “Healthy Schools”