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Nutrition Rx Tear Pads: A Simple Tool for Positive Change

By: Trina Robertson, MS, RDN

  • Monday, September 14, 2020
  • 4 Minute Read   


Encouraging behavior change can be challenging, especially given the limited time health providers have with their patients.  To help, Dairy Council of California partnered with The L.A. Trust to create Nutrition Rx Tear Pads to allow health professionals to prescribe nutrition to families and teens. Simple and easy-to-use, the Nutrition Rx Tear Pads provide healthy living guidance and allow providers to promote community food access programs. With this educational resource, health providers can quickly and easily prescribe healthy lifestyle recommendations to patients and families to emphasize the impact individual choices have on long-term health and well-being. 

There are currently two versions of the nutrition tear pads available: the Family Wellness Prescription and My Wellness Prescription for Teens. Customized for their audiences, both versions focus on setting small, achievable goals. Where families can choose to build better meals, serve healthier snacks or dine together for a set number of days per week, the goals for teens are specific to their individual needs, with options to increase the number of vegetable servings per day, consume a specific number of servings of dairy per day, replace sugar-sweetened beverages and try the school breakfast and/or lunch program, among others. Both versions of the nutrition tear pad include check boxes next to each goal, a feature that makes it easy to set specific, measurable goals over a short timeframe. 

Rx Pad English  Rx Pad Spanish

The nutrition tear pads are designed to be used in any public setting, including doctors’ offices, health clinics and schools. The tear pads are available in English and Spanish, and can be ordered in print or downloaded. Dairy Council of California resources are Medi-Cal approved, free for California residents and align to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, incorporating a behavior change model and reinforcing small steps to a healthier lifestyle. Commonly asked questions and responses are provided below. 

How are providers using the tear pads? 
Health professionals primarily use the tear sheets as part of well-care visits or as an incorporated educational resource for child visits. The tear sheet is designed to be used a standalone resource, but some providers find it more effective as an accompanying resource to support nutrition education. 

Why should health providers use the tear pads? 
Health care providers who are currently using the nutrition tear pads in their daily practice reported that the tear pads are a versatile resource that can be used on its own or in combination with other resources. A time-saving tool, the tear pads can be adapted to meet the needs of individual clients and families. Providers who work with families shared that their most frequently prescribed goal was to encourage water consumption throughout the day and increasing water intake during mealtime. 

Does the tear pads work?
Not only do the nutrition tear pads encourage simple behavior changes, they also promote important school breakfast and lunch programs, which are a critical food access point for vulnerable children and families. The nutrition tear pads are an actionable resource that can help guide the conversation toward empowering people to prioritize healthy food choices and movement. 

What do health professionals say about the tear pads?
Health professionals find them very useful. In San Bernardino County, a public health nurse shared, “We thought it was a unique and creative way of addressing our society's weight problem and changing the perception of food into medicine.” Others shared the same sentiment with:

  • This is such a unique way to address the problem.
  • Parents would be more open to make a change if they received orders in a prescription format. 
  • The check boxes made it simple to work on one key component at a time with patients. 

How do I order tear pads?
Ordering is easy. Click here to order or download the Family Wellness Prescription or My Wellness Prescription for Teens today.


Trina Robertson, MS, RDN

Trina Robertson, MS, RDN

Trina Robertson is a registered dietitian nutritionist and Dairy Council of CA’s Evaluation and Impact program manager.

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