Evaluation of Dairy Council Classroom and After-School Nutrition Education Programs

Program Evaluations

Rigorous Field Testing Ensures Program Effectiveness

Dairy Council of California classroom and after-school nutrition education programs are field-tested and evaluated for student outcomes. Our rigorous testing which includes third-party evaluators, tests to determine whether students gained knowledge and exhibited positive changes in attitudes or behaviors.

Our goal is to provide high-quality, evidence-based programs through grade-appropriate lessons that help students:

  • become more knowledgeable about healthy eating using the food groups outlined by the USDA Guidelines for Americans
  • understand the importance of being physically active
  • improve their attitudes toward consuming balanced food choices
  • make healthier food and activity choices after completing the programs

Each program is evaluated during its development and following the program launch in California classrooms. Additionally, outcome evaluations are conducted by third-party evaluators. We use a mixed-method approach to capture qualitative feedback from teachers and administrators combined with quantitative surveys with students, teachers and parents. Each evaluation is tailored to the program to ensure the best data are available for program development and to demonstrate student success in meeting program outcomes to educators.

Choose your grade level and program to view a summary and complete Evaluation Report

Schools Are the Nexus for Nutrition Education

Classrooms are the best place to teach children and families about nutrition.

Establishing healthy eating and exercise behaviors in children and adolescents is perhaps the most effective way of battling America’s obesity epidemic.

  • Evidence suggests that it’s easier to keep weight off than it is to lose weight once it’s been gained. (1)
  • Eating and exercise patterns start developing in children as young as four years old, and continue updating throughout childhood. (2)
  • Because these patterns can extend to adulthood, establishing healthy nutrition and exercise habits early can have important life-long effects.

Teaching nutrition in our classrooms can create a shared goal of nutritious choices!

  • We offer a variety of classroom-based nutrition education programs that are tailored to each grade level. We’ve collaborated with top experts in education and public health to develop nutrition education programs based on current best practices in the field of nutrition and cutting-edge behavioral research.
  • Classrooms work well because children are grouped together and spend a great deal of time with one another. This makes classrooms ideal locations for trained educators to teach children about healthful behaviors.
  • In few other places can classroom and health educators come together to share their collective knowledge in a way specifically designed for our kids!

Spreading knowledge to communities

  • It’s never too late to learn about nutrition, but the flood of media makes gathering the most accurate and useful nutrition information a confusing task.
  • Not only do parents play a pivotal role in their children’s healthy eating by purchasing nutritious foods and role-modeling healthy behaviors, many of the parents we speak with say they want to learn more about nutrition too! 
  • Our free nutrition lesson plans include fun family activities designed to teach children and parents about healthy nutrition. Our goal is to share important knowledge with parents and create opportunities for families to make healthy eating easier.

(1) Priya Sumithran, M.B., B.S., et al. Long-Term Persistence of Hormonal Adaptations to Weight Loss. N Engl J Med 2011; 365:1597-1604 October 27, 2011 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1105816
(2) Lloyd-Jones DM, Liu K, Colangelo LA, Yan LL, Klein L, Loria CM, Lewis CE, Savage P. Consistently stable or decreased body mass index in young adulthood and longitudinal changes in metabolic syndrome components: the coronary artery risk development in young adults study.Circulation. 2007;115(8):1004–1011. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.648642.
(3) Birch L, Savage JS, Ventura A. Influences on the Development of Children’s Eating Behaviours: From Infancy to Adolescence. Canadian journal of dietetic practice and research : a publication of Dietitians of Canada 2007;68(1):s1-s56.