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Education Philosophy

Discover how our education philosophy guides our work to inspire healthy eating habits.

Discover how our education philosophy inspires healthy eating habits.

For more than 100 years, Dairy Council of California has championed the health of children and families by advancing quality nutrition education opportunities in communities. Nutrition education is a variety of learning experiences designed to empower healthy eating habits. It encompasses a wide range of topics from nutrients in foods to the food system, and includes all aspects of nutrition such as the impact of food on the body and health, food identification and preparation, and advocacy for access to healthy food. Nutrition education, when supported by policy, systems and environmental interventions, serves as a strong catalyst to elevate the health of communities.

Achieving Healthy Behaviors

Healthy eating habits are built on a pattern of daily food and beverage choices, tailored to individual preference, culture, tradition and budget.  Nutrition education works most effectively through behavior-focused activities and actions that teach individuals how to make the best food choices for themselves and their families. Education must motivate individuals to want to make healthy choices, and provide accurate and reliable information to see why healthy choices are important. It must also build essential skills like goal setting and advocacy to empower individuals to practice healthy eating habits over time.

Beyond knowledge and skills, successful nutrition education addresses where and how people access food. Pairing access to healthy food with nutrition education helps reduce barriers to healthy eating and promotes sustained adoption of healthy eating behaviors.

What we eat affects both physical and emotional health. Lifelong healthy habits blend physical, social, emotional and mental well-being. Teaching to the whole person through relevant experiences and shared values helps individuals learn and apply healthy behavior change.  

Equipping and Empowering Communities

Dairy Council of California offers programs and services rooted in a nutrition philosophy that supports optimal health, growth and development. Healthy eating patterns that include nutritious and wholesome foods set the foundation for lifelong health and can lead to positive health benefits that span generations.

Education happens everywhere through a variety of learning experiences and diverse community settings. Evidence shows that implementing multiple changes at various levels of the Social-Ecological Model is effective in improving healthy eating behaviors. Nutrition education resources, aligned with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, have the potential for broader behavior change impact when integrated with strategies in different sectors of food, health and education, such as trainings, food access and policy change.

Effective nutrition education resources translate nutrition science to engaging activities that are simple and applicable to everyday settings. Dairy Council of California offers science and evidence-based resources in a wide range of flexible and customizable formats to empower educators and health professionals to improve health and nutrition outcomes for children, families and communities. The portfolio of available resources include evidence-based sequential curricula, short interactive handouts, virtual experiences and online learning. The education model also includes family engagement. Learning is most impactful when it is explored and talked about with family and community, inspiring healthy habits for all.

Developing Leadership and Advocacy

Nutrition education is a continuum of learning experiences that begins with basic knowledge and skills to successfully navigate a complex world of food choices and food topics. Because schools play a central role in promoting children’s health, Dairy Council of California provides standards-aligned evidence-based nutrition education curricula, Mobile Dairy Classroom assemblies and online resources to inspire students and families to build lifelong healthy eating habits.  

Foundational nutrition skills open the door to 21st Century skills through deeper learning. When students explore the entire food system—where food comes from and its impact on their health and the environment—they are more likely to make positive behavior changes, improving their health and inspiring others to do the same through advocacy.

Educators are key influencers to students, schools and communities, and they play a vital role in engaging students in the learning process and role modeling healthy behaviors. To guide successful nutrition education implementation, Dairy Council of California offers advising and professional development training to empower educators in all professions to implement and advocate for nutrition education.

Elevating Health Together

In addition to learning strategies that address the many factors that influence food choices, a collaborative systemic approach is required to achieve the strongest impact from nutrition education. Dairy Council of California, together with partners in education, health care and agriculture, uses collective expertise to drive a movement toward healthy, successful communities.  

Through shared values, the Let’s Eat Healthy movement brings together educators, health professionals, change-makers and community leaders to elevate the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits. Like the learning process, programming is always evolving and guided by continual assessment. The Let’s Eat Healthy movement welcomes the opportunity to collaborate, co-create and implement quality nutrition education to demonstrate collective impact. 

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