Give nutrition education

Give nutrition education and skills

This table provides examples of the types of policy actions that can be taken within this policy area, examples of where these policy actions have been implemented, and a brief description of what the action involves. It provides a global snapshot, largely of policies already implemented; it is not necessarily comprehensive. The examples were collated through a review of international reports of policy actions around the world, academic articles reporting on policy actions, and online government resources.

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Examples of policy actions Examples of where implemented What the action involves
Nutrition on education curricula Australia

Implemented in September 2014, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) incorporates food and nutrition education as part of the curriculum in ACT public schools, providing opportunities to learn about food production, the benefits of healthy eating and preparation of healthy foods.


Brazil’s School Health Programme (PSE) was established in 2007 by Presidential Decree No 6.286/200 and is managed by the Ministries of Health and Education. Through the programme, schools must monitor and evaluate student health and take actions to promote healthy eating and food and nutrition security. In 2009, a new mandate established that food and nutrition education should be fully integrated across the entire curricula of basic education. In 2012, the Ministries of Social Development, Health and Education launched the Framework of Reference for Food and Nutrition Education in Public Policies, identifying kindergartens, schools and universities as important areas for food and nutrition education.


Education is a key part of awareness raising on health issues in Finland, and compulsory classes in health education and home economics are part of basic education. Home economics includes food preparation, meal planning (taking nutritional recommendations into account) and how to interpret food labelling and assess the reliability of different types of nutrition information.


In 2005 the Basic Law on Shokuiku (Shoku = diet, iku = growth and education) was enacted to promote dietary education, including in schools and nursery schools. “Diet and nutrition teachers” are trained by a programme started by the Ministry of Education and Science that uses professional registered dietitian programmes in universities.


The Macedonian National Nutrition Action Plan (2009-2014) includes education in pre-school and school programmes, with guides and training provided for staff.


The General Law on Education (Ley General de Educación) establishes that schools must provide nutrition education alongside minimum standards for physical activity and sports, with the aim of promoting a culture of healthy eating.


The Slovenian national nutrition policy requires nutrition education to be included on school curricula. Nutrition education in primary schools is mainly delivered through science subjects, but also in home economics, and is designed to both aid knowledge and skills acquisition (e.g. understanding healthy eating guidelines; classifying foods according to nutritional content).

South Africa

In South Africa, the inclusion of nutrition is compulsory in the "Life Orientation" curriculum in schools.


The Ministry of Education and Training is responsible for incorporating nutrition education into the school curriculum at all levels and providing capacity building for teachers as part of the Vietnam National Nutrition Strategy (2011-2020).

Community-based nutrition education Australia

FOODcents – an education programme to help families eat healthily and affordably, was originally a pilot project developed by the Western Australia Department of Health in 1992 before it was implemented statewide in 1995. Today, FOODcents is funded by the Department of Health and coordinated by Cancer Council Western Australia and Diabetes WA. The aim of the programme is to teach people how to get value for money and achieve a balanced diet. FOODcents Advisor Training is available online and in person for Australians working in health and community sectors. Community FOODcents education workshops include topics such as healthy eating, food budgeting, cooking and a supermarket tour.

United States

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture runs the Expanded Nutrition Education Program nationwide and in US Territories. The programme is designed to assist resource-limited audiences to acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills in food production and preparation in order to encourage behaviour change. Participants learn to better manage their food budgets and resources from federal, state, and local food assistance agencies. The programme also engages young people through after-school activities, residential camps, community centers, and home gardening workshops, which complement the educational curriculum.

The US Department of Agriculture runs a programme to provide education to recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). They provide online resources and guidance to support state and local SNAP education providers. The SNAP-Ed Connection site provides curricula, lesson plans, research and participant materials.

Cooking skills Peru

"Community Kitchens" (Comedores Populares) are an important channel for the provision of food to families living in poverty in Peru. They are community-focused and involve cooking programmes to develop food skills and basic nutrition education. A project is currently underway to increase the use and consumption of fruits in the kitchens, and reduce the use of saturated fat and salt.

United Kingdom

In England, from September 2014, the National Curriculum includes mandatory hands on cookery for children up to Year 9. Students learn how to cook and apply the principles of nutrition and healthy eating.

Initiatives to train school children on growing food Belize

The non-governmental organisation Plenty Belize manages a series of school garden projects in close liaison with local government and non-governmental agencies.


Classes on agricultural gardening became part of the school curriculum in Bhutan in 2002, under a joint initiative by the Ministries of Agriculture and Education of the Royal Government of Bhutan with the support of the World Food Program.

South Africa

The "EduPlant" programme is endorsed by the South African Department of Education. It supports the development of school gardens, where children learn to grow fruit and vegetables, eat some of the produce and sell the rest to raise funds. Schools receive support for two years until they can manage on their own.


In Uganda, agriculture is part of the primary school curriculum and there is extensive vegetable gardening in schools, some supported by the non-governmental organisation Seeds for Africa.

United States

The "Garden in Every School" programme in California was launched in 1995 by the California Department of Education and covers thousands of schools. It establishes an instructional programme, publicises best practice and provides a grant programme. It is linked to school meals and is supported by classroom nutrition education.

New York City’s Grow to Learn NYC: the Citywide School Garden Initiative aims to establish a sustainable school garden in every public school in the city. By 2013, 350 schools had registered in the initiative. If school gardens meet the criteria of GreenThumb, a division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, they receive technical assistance, materials and educational workshops. The Initiative partners with the Garden-to-Café Program of the NYC Department of Education, Office of SchoolFood, connecting school gardening with school cafeterias.

Workplace or community health schemes Singapore

The Health Promotion Board in Singapore encourages employers to establish a Workplace Nutrition Programme. They provide guidelines on developing comprehensive programmes, which include organisational policies, supporting creative environments, and building awareness and personal skills.

Training for caterers and food service providers Singapore

Linked to the Healthy Meals in Schools Programme (see “O” – Offer healthy foods and set standards in public institutions), the Health Promotion Board supports schools by organising culinary and nutrition training for canteen vendors to equip them with knowledge of healthy nutrition and culinary skills to prepare healthier meals using healthier ingredients.


United States

Linked to the voluntary Smart Meal Seal Programme (a point-of-purchase labelling scheme for healthy options), the Colorado Department of Health provides nutrition training for catering managers in participating restaurants and canteens to encourage the development of healthier options that meet nutritional standards.

Table last updated: 07/03/2016

Copyright © 2016 World Cancer Research Fund International. Please send any feedback to and acknowledge World Cancer Research Fund International as the originators. 

A number of other organisations also provide access to policy databases. Some are listed below:

WHO Global Database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action

WHO Europe Database on Nutrition, Obesity and Physical Activity

United States
The Rudd Center for Food and Obesity – Legislation Database
National Association of State Boards of Education – State School Health Policy Database
National Cancer Institute – Classification of Laws Associated with School Students
Centers for Disease Control – Chronic Disease State Policy Tracking System

Prevention Policies Directory