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USDA Child Nutrition Guidelines to Stop Childhood Obesity

Updated on June 25, 2015
Good Nutrition Recipes
Good Nutrition Recipes

Parents can now prevent and stop childhood obesity epidemic by following the USDA child nutrition guidelines. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has both child nutrition and physical activity guidelines in their National Agricultural Library (NAL). With every one in three children in the U.S being overweight or obese, the USDA has responded to the child obesity crisis by publishing obesity research reports, child nutrition education manuals and recommended levels of physical activities for kids and teens.

USDA Child Nutrition Guidelines for Elementary Age Children

Parents and teachers can access the latest USDA child nutrition guidelines by downloading the Elementary age children nutrition guide. The publication is presented in PDF format, and was released in March, 2013. The child nutrition guide contains plenty of resources and information on healthy diets for children, good nutrition and recommended child activity levels.

This USDA publication is not for sale, you just need to borrow from the NAL collection. This publication by the USDA contains child nutrition guidelines for elementary age children. It has links to both books and websites that, in addition to general food facts, have the following information:

Food Facts, Recipes and Eating habits across the World

This guide has a list of child nutrition books that contain facts about various fruits and veggies. Included is the book on ABC's of Fruits and Vegetables by Steve Charney and David Goldbeck. Almost everyone knows about apples, carrots and cabbages. But how much do you know about zucchini (courgette)? This nutrition book has food recipes, food fun information and food facts on rare fruits and veggies. Other books that you can borrow from the NAL include Ann Morris' Bread, Bread, Bread (a book about various types of bread eaten by people across the world).

Kids in the Kitchen

This USDA collection has nutrition books that provide breakfast recipes, in addition to information on how to prepare nutritious lunch, snacks and dinner meals. Included is Abigail Johnson Dodge's Around the World Cookbook that teaches children to make delicious recipes from a variety of cuisines. Cook It Together by Annabel Karmel is a great guide on how to combine 10 ingredients to create healthy food. Targeted at young kids, the cookbook features easy recipes.

Healthy Eating Guidelines

This part of the NAL collection has books that teach about the human digestion process, functions of various foods, recipes for healthy diets and the importance of healthy eating. Taste by Kay Woodward explores the specifics of taste sense, while What Happens to Your Food explains the movement of food through the gut.

USDA Healthy Meals and Recipes Guidelines

There are more USDA child nutrition guidelines available online, including the Healthy Meals guideline on healthy recipes, good meal planning and child nutrition education. These guidelines also teach on how to prepare smart snacks for school-going kids and child nutrition guidelines for school nutrition professionals.

USDA Guidelines on Fruits and Vegetables


Parents can prevent and reverse childhood obesity by adding fresh fruits and vegetables to children's diets. Fruits and veggies are packed with nutrients and minerals such as zinc, calcium, iron, potassium, in addition to various vitamins. The USDA child nutrition guidelines on fruits and vegetables include menus, fact sheets, and information on preparing them.

USDA Team Nutrition Guidelines

These guidelines were created for teachers, parents, nutrition professionals and child care providers. Through them, the USDA emphasizes the health benefits of eating various food groups. Increasing physical activities is at the core of the push to prevent and stop the childhood obesity crisis. All USDA child nutrition guidelines include recommended hands-on activities and guidelines on how to increase awareness of the importance of good health among children.

USDA Menu Planning Guidelines

The USDA recommends that whole grains should make up at least half of the total grains eaten by children. USDA child nutrition guidelines on whole grains include recipes, grains selection and cooking tips for whole grains. Get access to lots of whole grain brown rice recipes. Learn how to prepare healthier whole wheat chocolate cake, whole wheat sugar cookies and, whole wheat muffins, among others.

USDA HealthierUS School Challenge

USDA Child Nutrition Guidelines
USDA Child Nutrition Guidelines

Children eat about half of their daily food at school, and school-based nutrition guidelines are necessary to combat the growing childhood obesity epidemic. The HealthierUS School Challenge is part of the USDA child nutrition guidelines intended to promote good eating habits at school. The Smarter Lunchrooms program includes child nutrition guidelines for preschool and elementary school children, in addition to middle and high school teenagers. If well implemented, these USDA child nutrition guidelines will help prevent and stop childhood obesity in the U.S.


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