Salad Bars to Schools

Photo: Students eating salads

Salad Bars to Schoolsexternal icon is a public-private partnership to mobilize and engage local, state and national leaders to promote and sponsor salad bars in schools. School children eat more fruits and vegetables when they have a variety of choices, such as those provided in a self-serve salad bar. Helping children develop good eating habits early in life helps maximize academic performance during the school years and promotes wellness throughout their lives. By supporting Salad Bars to Schools’ mission to increase the prevalence of salad bars in schools across the country, CDC aims to ensure every child has the choice of healthy fruits and vegetables each day at school.

The Salad Bars to Schools partnership was founded by the Chef Ann Foundationexternal icon, National Fruit and Vegetable Allianceexternal icon, United Fresh Start Foundationexternal icon, and Whole Foods Marketexternal icon in support of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move!external icon Initiative. The program is currently a partnership of the Chef Ann Foundationexternal icon and Whole Kids Foundationexternal icon. As of 2021, the Salad Bars to School program has delivered almost 6,000external icon salad bars to schools across the nation.

Salad Bars to Schools Success Storiesexternal icon

Through Salad Bars to Schools, schools across the nation are making strides toward becoming healthier. Below are just a few of the many schools that have added salad bars.

Check out Salad Bars to School: The Mixexternal icon for interviews with salad bar leaders and tips on salad bar operations.


School Nutrition offers suggestions for providing nutritious and appealing foods and beverages as well as adequate time for lunch. Also see tips for communicating consistent nutrition messages through marketing, during celebrations, and serving food as rewards. The page includes a link to the Comprehensive Framework for Addressing the School Nutrition Environment and Services to influence students’ access to healthy foods and beverages at school.

Get a Salad Barexternal icon Information for applying for a salad bar grant.

Learn How Your School Can Add a Salad Bar Today!pdf iconexternal icon [PDF–1.12MB] Read more about the benefits of school salad bars and how your school can develop a successful salad bar program in this pamphlet from the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN).

ASPHN Salad Bars to Schools Resourcesexternal icon Three states developed salad bars to schools resources as part of the Healthy Places for Kids to Eat project from the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN): Iowa, Alaska and New Mexico. See also links to additional resources for salad bars developed by ASPHN members and partners.

Promoting and Supporting School Salad Bars: An Action Guide for State Health Practitionerspdf icon [PDF-7.69MB] School salad bars can be part of a comprehensive nutrition education program that involves school staff, parents, and community members to influence the amount of fruits and vegetables students eat every day. This guide will help you learn more about school salad bars and discuss ways in which you can promote, market, and support school salad bars in your states, communities, and schools.

The Safe Use of Salad Bars in Schoolspdf iconexternal icon [PDF-400KB] modifiable fact sheet was created to assist state public health nutritionists to encourage salad bars in schools and to bridge gaps in discussions around salad bar food safety.

The Lunch Boxexternal icon provides operational content to support the implementation and continued management of salad bars in schools. The Salad Bar section of the site includes information on procurement, training students and staff, marketing your salad bar(s) and salad bar recipes.

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