SACRAMENTO, CALIF. – The Dairy Council of California partnered with educational organizations to create a new resource for schools called “Let’s Eat Healthy Together: Explore Dairy,” which was designed to introduce key concepts surrounding healthy eating patterns and nutrition.

The Lodi Unified School District, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, and San Joaquin County Office of Education helped design the educational unit, which is being introduced in October to coincide with National Farm to School Month.

Incorporating nutrition, agriculture and cultural traditions, the unit was developed to complement nutrition education and farm-to-school efforts, as well as highlight the benefits of dairy foods.

Tracy Mendez, RDN, the Dairy Council of California’s program manager and content developer, said the no-cost resource was made to present foundational learning experiences for healthy eating patterns.

“It provides positive interaction around food and references USDA’s MyPlate as a visual reminder to build eating patterns that are varied, balanced and customizable,” Mendez said. “’The Explore Dairy’ unit complements Dairy Council of California’s ‘Let’s Eat Healthy’ initiative and its cause to elevate the health of children and communities through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating patterns.”

The council shared that the unit, which comes in digital formats, includes five lessons – each approximately 20 to 30 minutes long – that were created to build value for milk and dairy foods in a healthy, sustainable eating pattern. The resource includes videos, taste tests, extension activities and other options.

The Dairy Council of California said three grade level adaptations of the program are available: kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade, and high school. Additional information and ordering options are available online at the council’s website.