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September Vegetable of the Month: Beet

The February Veggie of the Month is Beets! Did you know that you can eat the whole beet plant! Beet tops (leaves) are cooked or served fresh as greens and are an excellent source of vitamin A. The roots may be pickled for salads, cooked or eaten raw.

August Fruit of the Month: Eggplant

The August Fruit of the Month is Eggplant! Did you know eggplants grow on short vines, similar to tomato plants? But as you might have guessed, they do feel, look, and taste different! Eggplants have a soft, spongy flesh, with a pleasant bitter taste. When paired with other strong-flavored ingredients, eggplants can help balance the overall...

Are Frozen and Canned Produce Just as Healthy as Fresh Produce?

Yikes! Americans aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables. An easy way to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy meal options is to add frozen and canned produce to your pantry. This can also ensure you always have nutritious options available—on a budget! A question we often hear is, “Are frozen and canned foods as healthy...

June Fruit of the Month: Strawberry

The June Fruit of the Month is Strawberry! It’s hard to imagine someone who doesn’t love strawberries, but in case you need convincing, this information is for you! The strawberry fruit is a versatile berry that can be eaten raw or cooked—though it’s eaten raw most often. Talk about an easy snack! They’re low-carb and rich in...

Brain Foods that May Help You Concentrate

Your brain handles a lot. It sends instructions to move muscles, makes sure organs are working, remembers information, has creative ideas, and powers every system in your body. We often eat foods that help strengthen our muscles or give us more energy– but brains need nutrition too! There are a wide variety of foods that...

The Best and Worst Beverages for Weight Loss

Many of us watch what we eat but not what we drink while watching our diet. That’s a mistake. Research shows that most of the sugar in the average American’s diet comes from their beverage choices. Choosing the right drinks can tweak your metabolism, curb your appetite, and help cut calories. Which drinks are the...

May Vegetable of the Month: Artichoke

The May Vegetable of the Month is Artichoke! Artichokes may feel a bit alien at first, but they can be fun and delicious! Not to mention, it’s one of the top vegetables containing the most antioxidants, keeping the whole family strong and healthy. Artichoke is a Great Source of: Fiber—great for liver and digestive health...

Fresh, Frozen and Canned ALL Count

Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day by filling half of your plate with them each meal.

April Vegetable of the Month: Asparagus

The April Vegetable of the Month is Asparagus! Asparagus is a stalk-y vegetable that is both nutritious and delicious! It has the potential to grow super fast—up to 10 inches a day—and with all its nutrients, your children may just have a healthy growth-spurt of their own! Once they experience the crunchy, subtly-sweet taste of asparagus,...

March Vegetable of the Month: Cooked Greens

Did you know, when you cook greens, more of the nutrients become available for your digestive system?

February Vegetable of the Month: Parsnip

Perhaps parsnips? The time to try this sweet, yet sturdy, vegetable is now.

January Vegetable of the Month: Spinach

Throw a little spinach in! Available year-round it can be added to almost any recipe for color and next-level nutrition!

December Vegetable of the Month: Celery

Embrace the crunch! Celery makes for the perfect low calorie snack.

November Fruit of the Month: Chokecherry

Check out chokecherries - the antioxidant rich fruit that packs a punch and compliments any meal!

October Fruit of the Month: Squash

You can’t beat squash—a tasty, versatile choice for the fall dinner table that's packed with fiber, vitamins, and nutrients.

September Fruit of the Month: Apple

Apples are a sure sign that fall is coming. Easy to prepare and even easier to enjoy, they’re smart solutions for a sugar craving. Their sweetness comes from naturally occurring sugar, so you can satisfy your sweet tooth without reaching for something processed or artificial.

August Vegetable of the Month: Sweet Corn

Corn is South Dakota’s top-produced crop — and it’s not just food for cows or fuel for your car. It’s a healthy meal staple to bridge the culinary gap from summer to fall.

July Veggie of the Month: Cucumbers

Cool as a cucumber is a totally factual statement. The cucumber is a refreshing and delicious treat on a hot summer day!

June Fruit of the Month: Cantaloupe

Juicy and sweet without overwhelming the taste buds, the cantaloupe is the perfect fruit for hot weather. Unlike pineapples and mangos, cantaloupes aren’t acidic, so they’re a gentle (but still tasty) partner to zingier summer fruit favorites.

May Veggie of the Month: Peas

Peas are a part of the protein food group AND the vegetable group!

April Fruit of the Month: Plums

The April Fruit of the Month is Plums! They’re plum terrific! One medium-sized plum is a great source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body heal from cuts and wounds, and helps you absorb more iron from your food. Plums are also full of fiber and Vitamin A. Dried plums are called prunes. The pit...

March Veggie of the Month: Garlic

Don’t let this veggie’s potency scare you. It’s a fun addition to any dish, turning a simple “yum” into a big “wow!”

February Fruit of the Month: Cherries

Did you know that cherries with their stems still attached are less likely to mold quickly? Leave the stems on and store them—unwashed—in your fridge for up to 10 days.

January Veggie of the Month: Cabbage

Cabbage is a lot easier to work into your meals than you might imagine! And it’s worth getting to know, because its health benefits and unique texture will have you hooked. 

Plan. Shop. Save. Prep.

The average American family spends $4,363 on groceries each year and $3,365 on eating out, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Menu planning can cut your grocery bill drastically as well has help you eat healthier. It does take time on the front end but will save you time and money on the...

November Veggie of the Month: Eggplant

Eggplant’s mild flavor makes it an easy, but often forgotten, addition to meals. It’s commonly shuttled to the sidelines because you might think you don’t know what to do with it. But you do! Or you will if you read on.

October Veggie of the Month: Tomatoes

Learn 9 new ways to enjoy tomatoes and helpful tips on selection, storage and prep.

September Veggie of the Month: Rhubarb

1/2 cup of cooked rhubarb equals 1 serving of vegetables—and remember, we want to get at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day!

August Veggie of the Month: Carrots

It’s true - carrots actually can help your eyesight! These crunchy critters get their bright orange color from beta carotene, the antioxidant our bodies turn into Vitamin A.

July Fruit of the Month: Watermelon

While most of us can’t think of watermelon without thinking of summer get-togethers, watermelon’s place at American picnic tables is only the most recent development in the history of this amazing fruit.

Tips for Shopping at Farmers Markets

Farmers markets are a wonderful part of summer that give us the opportunity to enjoy fresh, local produce and meet the people who grow it! Shopping at a farmers market is a little different than the grocery store. Here are some tips to make your trip successful and fun: 1.) Plan ahead. Bring a list...

COVID-19: Resources to Stay Active and Eat Healthy

Updated June 8, 2020: COVID-19 is affecting the lives of individuals and families in different ways. The Healthy South Dakota Team is dedicated to providing the best information to help you and your family stay safe and healthy.

15 Tips for Healthy Cooking at Home

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many ways to make small changes toward a healthier eating style.   Simple swaps can make at-home dishes healthier without sacrificing flavor: Use heart-healthy canola, olive or peanut oil instead of solid fats. Use sharp, reduced-fat cheese and low-fat milk in your macaroni and cheese. Sweeten...

March Veggie of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts look like cute little cabbages. They have not been a popular vegetable until new cooking methods have given them another chance.

February Fruit of the Month: Grapes

The news is out—grapes are good for you! Grapes are one of the oldest cultivated plants, and have been used for food and wine for centuries. Scientists have found grape vine fossils in the Mediterranean and Asia that are over 60 million years old. Recent studies have shown this “prehistoric” fruit is more than just...

January Veggie of the Month: Spinach

Check out July's Veggie of the Month! Spinach has many nutritional benefits as it is an excellent source of fiber, high in vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and folate, a good source of magnesium plus it has zero fat and is low in calories.

Choosing Nutrient Dense Foods

To eat well, it’s best to choose a mix of nutrient-dense foods every day. Nutrient-dense foods are foods that have a lot of nutrients but relatively few calories. Look for foods that contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. What Foods Should I Eat? Plan your meals and snacks to include fruits...

9 Tips to Make Healthier Holiday Choices

The holidays are often filled with time-honored traditions that include some of our favorite meals and foods. Think of little changes you can make this holiday season to create healthier meals and active days.

Planning your Thanksgiving Feast!

There are many things to think about when planning your Thanksgiving meal: finding healthy recipes, food safety, dealing with picky eaters, portion control, and what to do with all those leftovers! Fortunately, this article will help you create a healthy, balanced, and safe Thanksgiving meal the whole family will enjoy!

Pheasant Season Preparation

Fall has arrived. As the days get shorter and cooler, and the grass continues to dry out, one thing is on the mind of many South Dakotans and visitors from other states: ROOSTER! Hunting provides physical activity, emotional and social benefits and a nutritious, low-fat protein.

Grant Now Available for SD Healthcare Facilities!

The South Dakota Department of Health - Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program is accepting applications from healthcare facilities to implement or improve upon a self-measured blood pressure monitoring program.

Avocados Are Awesome!

There are lots of reasons avocados are so popular these days. Our guacamole certainly wouldn’t be the same, but they are also becoming a regular ingredient in salads, on sandwiches, as toast toppers, and have even been making consistent appearances in smoothies and brownies. Part of the reason an avocado craze is sweeping the nation...

Gardening with Kids: You Can Grow It!

Getting kids to eat more fruits and veggies can be challenging, but research shows that when kids help grow fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to eat more produce and try different kinds, too. Not only that, but gardening also provides a host of learning experiences that are good for little growing minds and...

April Fruit of the Month: Strawberries

Don’t wash your strawberries until just prior to consumption. Without an outer skin to protect the fruit, strawberries will spoil much faster if they’re washed and stored for more than a day before use.

Tips for cooking healthier at home during National Nutrition Month®!

Practice cooking more at home and experiment with healthier ingredients.

Stocking a Heart Healthy Kitchen

Did you know… Heart disease is the 2nd and stroke is the 6th leading cause of death in SD Together cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for 27.5% of all deaths in SD Risk factors for CVD include high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol We know that saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels and too much...

Raising Healthy Eaters in the New Year

Ring in a healthy new year by teaching kids the importance of food, nutrition and eating skills: Food to fuel busy, successful lives; Nutrition to nourish strong bodies and smart brains; and Eating skills to enjoy the social aspect of meals with family and friends. As with any part of raising children, no one does...

Is a gluten-free diet safe?

A gluten-free diet is restrictive and unnecessary for the general public. Gluten-free diets are not necessarily healthier and are only recommended for people diagnosed with celiac disease.

Herb App

HerbList™ is a mobile app that provides scientific, researched-based information about the safety and effectiveness of herbal products.

Healthy Eating: 101

With all of the fad diets like gluten-free, ketogenic, paleo, raw foods, etc., it is hard to know what is actually considered healthy. Here are some guidelines to follow that will never go out of style.

Spooktacular Menu & Healthy Halloween Tips

Kids can absolutely enjoy treats this Halloween! But it is important to find a balance. Here are some easy-to-make Halloween snacks and tips for how to incorporate some nutrition into your Halloween.

USDA Team Nutrition Resource Library

USDA’s Team Nutrition is a free program that offers nutrition educational materials for schools that use any of the Child Nutrition Programs (school lunch or breakfast, after school meals, summer feeding program, and CACFP). Some resources are available to order in hard copy and others are a free download. Use the Resource Library to choose from curriculum on nutrition or gardening, posters from elementary to middle school, training for food service staff, e-newsletters and much more.

Concessions Kit

The Munch Code Concessions Kit is FREE! Request your kit here!

Get the FREE Munch Code App!

The Munch Code Game is a fun way for kids, parents, and teachers to practice healthier between meal snacking. Based on a simple color code, similar to traffic lights, the player discovers which foods and drinks are “green” (eat a bunch) which ones are “yellow” (have just a little) and which are “red” (not so...

Vending Kit

Contact us if you are interested in any of the below vending machine and snack bar signs and stickers to promote the Munch Code at your worksite. Availability is limited.

Healthier Vending Calculator

Choose a food or beverage category from the drop down menu and fill in the numbers for each of the nutrition facts from your snack label to see if you’re choosing the right snack.

Healthier Vending & Snack Bar Toolkit

The Healthier Vending and Snack Bar Toolkit provides businesses with guidelines for incorporating healthier food and drink options in vending machines and snack bars at their workplaces. This toolkit serves two purposes: Inform employees about what they are eating and which choices are healthier. Increase choices by making healthier items more accessible, more appealing, and...

How to Incorporate Healthy Eating in Childcare Settings

Check out these videos sharing the steps, advice, and challenges to support the important transition to incorporate healthy foods into childcare centers.

Go Further with Food

March is National Nutrition Month! Learn from South Dakota's Registered Dietitian Whitney Blindert about how dairy can help "Go Further with Food".

When can my baby begin solid foods?

Get helpful tips about starting your baby on solid foods. Remember that each child's readiness depends on his or her own rate of development.

Coconut Oil – Healthy or Unhealthy?

Coconut oil is a hot topic right now with daily news headlines claiming everything from weight loss to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, making people intrigued but also confused. So is it healthy or unhealthy? Here are some facts about coconut oil...

Avocados: Good or Bad?

 The Good, the Bad & the Unsaturated Here’s the good news: according to the American Heart Association both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated (which are both unsaturated) fats may help improve your blood cholesterol when used in place of saturated and trans fats. Translation: eating foods that are rich in unsaturated fats – such as salmon, walnuts,...

Tips for Starting Solid Foods

Starting solid foods is an important part of your baby’s development. Use these tips to start solid foods off right — and set your baby on the road to healthy eating for life!

Finding Balance: Calories & Physical Activity

By balancing the calories you eat in healthy foods like fruits and vegetables with daily physical activity, you can maintain a healthy weight.

Make it a Whole Grain

Whole grains are healthier than refined grains. They contain the entire seed which includes lots of nutrients like protein, dietary fiber, iron and many B vitamins.

Eating Healthy on a Budget

You CAN avoid the junk food habit. When you plan ahead, healthy eating can be affordable!

Portion Size Matters

Here's a quick guide to food portion sizes using everyday objects.

Are All Sugars Created Equal?

Natural versus added sugar...what's good for you and what's not?

Choose a Healthy Drink!

Check out these tips to help you choose a healthy drink.

Food Safety Cook-Off

Check out this video to learn about important food safety tips when cooking at home.

Salty Six for Kids

Most kids get too much salt, but you can help set them on a healthier path from the start by learning what the highest sodium foods kids are eating. About 90% of kids eat too much sodium. Kids’ preferences for salt-tasting foods are shaped early in life. Parents and caregivers can help lower sodium by...

SD’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Dustin Hermansen!

Source: Midwest Dairy Council

Grab N’ Go to the Classroom

Check out this video to learn more about how Grab n' Go school breakfast programs are getting more kids eating breakfast around the country.

Make Your Valentine’s Day Classroom Party Chocolate-Free

Think outside the heart-shaped box and use classroom parties as a time to learn about healthy snacking. Try these Valentine's Day party treats that feature dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Realistic & Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

The holidays are a time to enjoy friends, family, and food. And contrary to popular belief, you can have all three without worrying about putting on extra pounds! The secret…mindful preparation and mindful eating! Don’t skip meals throughout the day. This will likely result in overeating later. Eat balanced meals and snacks just like any...

Power-Packed Protein for Back-to-School

It’s back-to-school season which means including power-packed protein—such as milk, cheese, and yogurt—in meals, school lunch boxes, and snacks. Dairy protein keeps you feeling fuller longer and delivers important nutritional benefits. Add dairy protein to your diet for all-day energy. It is recommended that 10-35% of total daily calories come from protein. For a 2,000 calorie...

A New Look for the Nutrition Label!

Check out this side-by-side comparison of the original label and the NEW label. The new label must be on food packages by July 26, 2018. However, food manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales will have an additional year to comply (July 26, 2019). So what’s different? The Look: Calories, servings per...

Food & Drink Guidelines for Childcare Centers, Daycares & Adult Care Homes

Childcare centers, daycares, and adult care homes offering meals through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) have added a greater variety of vegetables and fruit, more whole grains, and less added sugar and saturated fat to their meals and snacks. CACFP plays a critical role in supporting the wellness, health, and development of...

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

March is National Nutrition Month! Discover new and exciting tastes while trimming salt from your cooking. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages everyone to experiment with new combinations of herbs and spices as you “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” You have likely heard the advice to use less salt and more herbs and spices in...

Healthy Habits for Lifelong Cancer Protection

Cancer affects almost everyone whether it’s a friend, family member, neighbor, classmate, co-worker, or you. But what if there were things we could do that could potentially help us protect ourselves and our families from cancer? It is not one magic super food or a new drink, pill, supplement, or drug. It is eating healthy...

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture has released the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – deemed the nation’s go-to source for nutrition advice. Published every 5 years for public health professionals, each edition of the Dietary Guidelines reflects the current body of nutrition science. These recommendations help Americans...

Published every 5 years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Each edition of the Dietary Guidelines reflects the current body of nutrition science. These recommendations help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices and serve as the foundation for vital nutrition policies and programs across the United States.

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines are Finally Here

Have you heard? The new Dietary Guidelines have finally been released! What does this mean for you as a health professional? The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans focus on five main points: follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and...

Make Better Choices at the Vending Machine: Learn the Munch Code!

With so many food options available to people on the go, it’s hard to know what a good choice is, especially when it comes to vending machines, snack bars and concession stands. The Munch Code is a color coded labeling program reminding us that snacks in the GREEN category are the healthiest and we can “Eat...

Bone Health and Your Diet

Having good bone health can help prevent against falls and serious injuries. What you eat and drink can have an impact on your bone strength. Here are some diet tips to help ensure your bone health: Get the Right Amount of Protein Seniors should get about 80 grams of protein every day. Although most seniors...

Is Your Kid Over-Caffeinated?

Sodas, coffee, tea, and energy drinks. Each of these is a source of caffeine. Approximately 75 percent of children, adolescents, and young adults in the United States consume caffeine, a compound that stimulates the central nervous system. In small doses, caffeine may help people of all ages feel more alert, awake, or energetic. But what...

8 Gameday Nutrition Tips for Young Athletes

If you’re a high school athlete, you’ve probably gone to practice or a game with a rumbling, empty stomach. You might not realize this, but eating right on gameday is your secret weapon for top-notch performance, whatever your sport. While training and skill are important, your body’s fuel matters, too. That’s why you need a...

School Success Starts With Dairy

A daily breakfast with dairy leads to not only better overall nutrition, but better school performance as well. As kids head back to class, make sure to include dairy and breakfast in their days to set them up for success throughout the school year. Breakfast Boosts Brain Power: Research shows that kids who eat a...

Fruits & Veggies – More Matters!

The USDA recommends eating 5 – 9 servings of fruits and veggies per day. That might sound like a lot, but it’s easy if you follow MyPlate’s tips: Eat the rainbow! Make sure at least half of your plate is full of fruits and veggies.  Choose fruits and veggies as quick snacks.  Try something new....

Way to go New York City!

New York City is setting an outstanding example by working with food manufacturers and the restaurant industry to lower the salt levels in commonly consumed products! The NYC Health Department is coordinating an unprecedented public-private partnership to help prevent heart disease and strokes by reducing the amount of salt in packaged and restaurant foods. The National Salt...

Fun Family Recipes

As parents and caregivers, you make a big difference in what your kids think and do. When children see you making healthy choices—such as eating right and being active—there’s a good chance they’ll do the same. Nutritious food doesn’t have to be bland or take a long time to prepare. Get the whole family to...

Team BEEF South Dakota

Team BEEF South Dakota is a community of runners who recognize the nutritional benefits of lean beef and the vital role high-quality protein plays in their training. Protein consists of building blocks called amino acids. A high-quality protein (also known as a complete protein) contains all eight essential amino acids. While protein is not your primary...

Fruits and Veggies – More Matters

Fruits & Veggies - More Matters is a health initiative focused on helping Americans increase fruit and vegetable consumption for better health. The program is spearheaded by the Produce for Better Heath Foundation that has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help spread the word about the health benefits of adding MORE fruits and veggies to your diet.

Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

The Two-Bite Club!

This educational storybook, available in English and in Spanish, was developed to introduce MyPlate to young children.

Fresh for Kids

The Fresh for Kids program aims to help school aged children achieve a healthy lifestyle by encouraging them to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and by participating in physical activity.

Today I Will…

An educational and participatory site to help people balance the calories they eat with the calories they burn each day by making active living and healthy eating choices.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation Schools Program

Healthy kids have higher attendance rates, higher test scores and behave better in class. The latest research on childhood health that has been combined with the most effective school policies to maximize impact and help make your school healthier.

Action for Healthy Kids

Coalition of many national organizations trying to improve the school nutrition environment. The group also includes a South Dakota state team.

Assessment and Planning Tool: School Health Index

The CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health has released a new online version of the School Health Index: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide (SHI). The SHI allows schools to assess their policies and programs in relation to physical activity and physical education, healthy eating, tobacco use prevention, and unintentional injury & violence prevention.

Constructive Classroom Rewards

The Center for Science in the Public Interest suggests rewarding students in the classroom need not involve pizza parties, candy and other foods that undermine children's diets and health and reinforce unhealthy eating habits. This site provides some suggestions for alternative rewards.

Fuel Up to Play 60

In-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and National Football League with additional support from U.S. Department of Agriculture. Focuses on empowering kids to make smart choices about their nutrition and physical activity.

South Dakota Department of Education Family Day Care Food Program

Child and Adult Care Food Program provides cash reimbursements for meals served in child day care centers, family and group day care homes, and adult day care centers.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Information Center

Links to current, reliable nutrition information including dietary supplements, Food Guide Pyramid, and food safety.

Harvest of the Month

Harvest of the Month is a FREE and versatile teaching program that can be used by parents, educators, student mentors, childcare providers and anyone interested in helping kids get excited about eating more fruits and vegetables!


A website devoted to the health of children and teens. Current information about growth, food, health, & fitness.

An educational initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food in school and communities.

The Community Guide: What Works to Promote Health

The Community Guide is a credible resource with many uses because it is based on a scientific systematic review process and answers questions critical to almost everyone interested in community health and well-being such as:
- What interventions have and have not worked?
- In which populations and settings has the intervention worked or not worked?
- What might the intervention cost? What should I expect for my investment?
- Does the intervention lead to any other benefits or harms?
- What interventions need more research before we know if they work or not?

SD TEAM Nutrition

Team Nutrition is an initiative of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs through training and technical assistance for foodservice, nutrition education for children and their caregivers, and school and community support for healthy eating and physical activity.

Mealtime Memo for Child Care

Offers information for child care providers participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, focused on good nutrition for young children.

Child and Adult Care Food Program

Provides cash reimbursements for meals served in child day care centers and family and group day care homes.

Midwest Dairy Associaton

Research-based materials for health professionals and free educational materials.

MyPlate SuperTracker: My Foods. My Fitness. My Health

Get a personalized nutrition and physical activity plan. Track your foods and physical activities to see how they stack up. Get tips and support to help you make healthier choices and plan ahead.

USDA National Nutrient Database

Find nutrient information on over 8,000 foods using this new and improved search feature.

We Can!

Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition is a national movement designed to give parents, caregivers, and entire communities a way to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight.

School Health

Collaborative partnership between the South Dakota Departments of Education and Health. Through funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they develop partnerships and coordinate programming to improve the health and educational outcomes of young people.

CATCH Kids Club – A Curriculum for Youth

An evidence-based curriculum for after-school and community recreation settings that includes lessons and activities to motivate heart-healthy behavior in children in grades K-5.

Nourish Interactive

Resource for fun nutrition games for kids, interactive nutrition tools, and tips for parents and health educators to use to promote healthy living for the whole family.

Munch Code!

The Munch Code is a color coded labeling program reminding us that snacks in the GREEN category are the healthiest and we can "Eat a bunch!". YELLOW foods may have added sugar, fat or calories and we should be careful to have "Just a little!". Foods falling into the RED category are on the "Not so much!" list and should be avoided. Snack healthier, eat healthier! provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information.

FDA Announces New Rules for Menu & Vending Machine Nutrition Labeling

November 25, 2014  – Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires certain restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations to list calorie content information for standard menu items on restaurant menus and menu boards. Other nutrient information—total calories, calories from fat, total fat, saturated fat,...

Munch Code! App

A Free App Designed for iPhone & iPad. The Munch Code! Game is a fun way for kids, parents, and teachers to practice healthier between meal snacking. Based on a simple color code, similar to traffic lights, the player discovers which foods and drinks are “green” (eat a bunch) which ones are “yellow” (have just...

Getting Kids in the Kitchen

Cooking with your kids is a good way to help them build healthy eating habits. Get them interested Most kids enjoy helping in the kitchen. While they help you cook, you can talk to them about healthy foods. Children like to eat food they make. This is a good way to get them to try...

Can Vitamin C Ward Off Stroke?

Researchers can’t say for sure, but brain bleeds were more common among those with low levels of the vitamin. In a small study, French researchers have found that people deficient in vitamin C might be at greater risk for bleeding in the brain, also called hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic strokes make up only 15 percent of...

Teens Eat Too Much Salt, Raising Obesity Risk

Researchers found that kids consume at least twice the recommended daily amounts. American teens are taking in as much dietary salt as adults, far exceeding guidelines on healthy limits for daily consumption, new research warns. The investigation tracked the week-long eating habits of more than 760 black and white high school kids. It found that,...

Energy Drinks, Coffee Increasing Sources of Caffeine for Kids, CDC Says

Effects of excessive caffeine intake on youngsters aren’t yet known, experts warn. For today’s kids, caffeine in coffee, soda and energy drinks is easier to get than ever before, a new U.S. government study finds. Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that children and teens are now getting less caffeine...

Added Sugar in Diet Tied to Death Risk From Heart Trouble

Sugar can be ‘hidden’ in savory foods as well as desserts and soda, experts note Doctors have long thought extra sugar in a person’s diet is harmful to heart health because it promotes chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes. But the added sugar Americans consume as part of their daily diet can — on...

Why Fruits and Vegetables Matter for Men

Compared to people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts — as part of a healthful diet — are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases. Depending on age and level of physical activity, men should eat between 2 to 2 1/2 cups of fruit and...

Heart Healthy Meals for Busy Parents

Time and time again, parents say time is their enemy when it comes to preparing healthy meals. “When healthy eating is a low priority, the results are the escalating obesity and chronic disease rates we see today,” said Aaron Feest, a registered dietitian at the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wis. “Healthy eating habits break...

Choose Smart, Choose Healthy

It’s your life. You’re in control. When you choose to eat right and stay physically active, you choose a healthy lifestyle. Including fruits and vegetables with every meal is a smart place to start, because they’re great for your body. Most fruits and vegetables are fiber-rich, nutrient-dense foods — meaning they’re packed with valuable nutrients...

Feeding Preschoolers

Feeding your preschooler can be challenging at times. Since one in four children between the ages of two and five are at risk of being overweight, healthy eating is extremely important. Children this age need the same variety of foods in their diets as older children and adults. The portion sizes are about half the...

USDA makes permanent meat and grain serving flexibilities in National School Lunch Program

WASHINGTON, January 2, 2014 – Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon today announced that USDA is making permanent the current flexibility that allows schools to serve larger portions of lean protein and whole grains at mealtime. “Earlier this school year, USDA made a commitment to school nutrition professionals that we would...

The White House and USDA announce School Wellness Standards

First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announce proposed school wellness standards and roll out of breakfast and lunch programs for schools that serve low income communities Washington, DC (February 2014)– Today, First Lady Michelle Obama joins U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to announce proposed guidelines for local...

Healthy South Dakota Concessions Model Policy

This policy was developed to assist local communities in improving the concession stand (or c-stand) nutrition environment and to promote healthy eating among youth and families. Whether you are a contracted concessionaire, a youth sports program leader or coach, a civic volunteer, an involved parent, parks and recreation staff member, school employee, or other community...

What to consider with a high protein diet

The goal is weight loss High-protein diets take their lead from the low-carb craze. The goal is to lose weight by eating more protein-packed foods, which often means consuming fewer carbohydrates. The portion of total calories derived from protein is what defines a high-protein diet. In a typical diet 10%-15% of daily calories come from...

Portion Size Versus Serving Size – What’s the Difference for Kids?

Do you know how much your kids are really eating? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the portions our kids are eating are the right serving size for their nutritional needs.  Portion sizes have increased drastically over the years, contributing to the rising childhood obesity rate. Understanding healthy portions can be hard. Here’s why:  Many...

Important Nutrients to Know: Water

It’s important for your body to have plenty of fluids each day. Water helps you digest food, absorb nutrients from food, and then get rid of the unused waste. Water is found in foods—both solids and liquids, as well as in its natural state. What To Drink As You Get Older Learn about why it’s...

What Are Chia Seeds?

When you hear “chia” your first thought may be of the green fur or hair of Chia Pets, collectible clay figurines. But did you know that chia seeds can also be a healthful addition to your diet? Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Salvia hispanicaseed is...

The Health Benefits of Tea

Across the country, restaurants, cultural venues and retail shops serve premium teas, while supermarkets, convenience stores and vending machines are stocking bottled tea. According to the Tea Association of the USA, the number of Americans who will drink tea today is about 160 million, about half of the U.S. population. And, 2012 continued with the...

Cooking Tips for One

It can be tricky when cooking for one (or even two) to make the most of your ingredients and to minimize dishes — particularly when many recipes focus on making a meal for a family and serve four to six people. But just because you have a smaller household doesn’t mean you should abandon the...

Important Nutrients to Know: Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 vitamins—vitamins C, A, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate). Vitamins have different jobs–helping you resist infections, keeping your nerves healthy, and helping your body get energy from food or...

Important Nutrients to Know: Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fat

Proteins Proteins are often called the body’s building blocks. They are used to build and repair tissues. They help you fight infection. Your body uses extra protein for energy. Good sources of protein are seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. Protein is also found in...

Common Questions About Eating

There are some common problems that can make it harder for older people to follow through on smart food choices. Visit the National Institute on Aging for their article containing some problem-solving suggestions for the following questions: Tired of cooking or eating alone? Problems chewing food? Sometimes hard to swallow your food? Food tastes different?...

10 Tips to Help You Eat and Drink More Dairy Foods

The Dairy Group includes milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soymilk. They provide calcium, vitamin D, potassium, protein, and other nutrients needed for good health throughout life. Choices should be lowfat or fat-free—to cut calories and saturated fat. How much is needed? Older children, teens, and adults need 3 cups* a day, while children 4 to...

The new low-cholesterol diet: oats and oat bran

Is there magic in oats? Oats have a lot going for them. Not only is it a great way to start the day, but research suggests they can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels without lowering your good HDL cholesterol. The same goes for oat bran, which is in some cereals, bread, cakes, pastries and other...

Steps to boost digestive health

Fiber for constipation When it comes to tackling constipation, it doesn’t have to be prune juice. There are plenty of other delicious, natural solutions to help keep you regular. Fill up with fiber-rich foods like cherries, peppers, beans, wholegrains, lentils, and nuts to help the digestive process. Fiber may have other health benefits too, including...

Mushrooms: Taste of the Earth

The Health Benefits and Culinary Uses of Mushrooms Healthy, versatile mushrooms are an excellent addition to your plate. Mushrooms impart a fifth taste sense called umami, which is savory. Hearty meat-like mushrooms are an economical and nutritious way to enhance any meal. Mushrooms are low in calories (one cup of raw sliced mushrooms has about...

Food frauds that can wreck your diet

Some foods that we think are healthy can be sneaky little diet wreckers. Nutritionist Leslie Bonci shares a few of these “food frauds” – starting with Caesar salad. Food Fraud: Caesar Salad Just a small bowl can serve up 300-400 calories and 30 grams of fat, thanks to loads of dressing. FOOD FIX: Leave out the croutons;...

The Debate Over Sugary Drinks

In an attempt to reverse the obesity epidemic, lawmakers and health officials across the nation are considering new laws and taxes. Legislation in California calls for the nation’s first warning labels on sugary drinks. A soda tax is being debated in Illinois, and New York City’s 2012 efforts to ban large sodas is now before...

Energy Drinks & Food Bars: Power or Hype?

The Buzz on Energy Foods Energy drinks and nutrition bars often make big promises. Some say they’ll increase energy and alertness, others offer extra nutrition, and some even claim to boost your athletic performance or powers of concentration. But once you cut through the hype and look past the flashy packaging on energy products, chances...

Rainbow Fruit Salad

Good as a side dish or dessert, this salad made from fresh fruit is naturally low in fat, saturated fat, and sodium and is cholesterol-free. What you need: Fruit salad: 1 large mango, peeled and diced 2 cups fresh blueberries 2 bananas, sliced 2 cups fresh strawberries, halved 2 cups seedless grapes 2 nectarines, unpeeled...

Super Tracker Tips for the Food Groups

SuperTracker Tips for the 5 Food Groups 434 total; 140 characters or less (suitable for Tweeting) Source:

Chic Penne

Note: Get a grownup’s help with this recipe, which requires using the oven/stove. Prep time: 55 minutes What you need: 1 box whole-wheat penne pasta (14 ounces) 3 cups of raw broccoli florettes ¾ cup of precooked chicken strips (4 ounces) ½ cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (2 ounces) ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (2...

Happy Healthy Eating

Eating is an important part of our lives. The healthy foods we eat help our body to grow, run, walk, think, move, sleep, and fight off germs. But did you know that some foods can actually hurt our bodies? Here are some tips on how to make sure you are getting enough of the foods...

Learning About Calories

“That’s loaded with calories!” “Are you counting your calories?” When people talk about the calories in food, what do they mean? A calorie is a unit of measurement — but it doesn’t measure weight or length. A calorie is a unit of energy. When you hear something contains 100 calories, it’s a way of describing...

Fun Fruit Kabobs

Try these kabobs for a quick and easy snack! Prep time: 15 minutes What you need: 1 apple 1 banana 1/3 c. red seedless grapes 1/3 c. green seedless grapes 2/3 cup pineapple chunks 1 cup nonfat yogurt ¼ c. dried coconut, shredded Equipment and supplies: knife (you’ll need help from your adult assistant) 2...

April is National Pecan Month

Pecans are designated as a heart-healthy food choice by the American Heart Association. Unroasted and unsalted pecan halves are the best choice for snacking and for use in recipes.  A one ounce serving of 15-20 pecan halves packs a nutritious punch and contains 196 calories, other benefits of pecans include:  Pecans contain more antioxidants than...

Figuring Out Fat & Calories

Figuring Out Fat & Calories From all you hear, you’d think fat and calories are really bad for you. It’s true that many people are eating more fat and calories than they need. But we all require a certain amount of fat and calories in our diets to fuel our growth and activities — everything...

Vegetable Quiz

Fruits and vegetables help keep kids healthy! Take this quiz to see how much you know about vegetables. Vegetable Quiz

Serve Kids Power Foods

If you want your kids to play hard, power them with the right foods. Ideas for power meals and snacks: Start with a breakfast of whole-grain cereal or whole-grain muffins and fruit. Or begin the day with a yogurt and fruit parfait, with whole grain cereal. Pack a breakfast of a bagel, fruit, string cheese,...

Recipes for Healthy Kids: Cookbooks for Child Care Centers and Schools

The recipes in this cookbook feature foods both children and adults should consume more of: dark green and orange vegetables, dry beans and peas, and whole grains. All of these healthy recipes are low in total fat, saturated fat, sugar and sodium. With fun names like Porcupine Sliders, Smokin’ Powerhouse Chili, and Squish Squash Lasagna,...