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Salad Bars to Schools

Photo: Students eating salads

Salad Bars to Schools is a unique public-private partnership to mobilize and engage stakeholders at the local, state and national level 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.

Salad Bars to Schools is an initiative of the Chef Ann Foundation, National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance, United Fresh Produce Association and Whole Kids Foundation. As of 2018, the Salad Bars to School program has delivered over 5,000 salad bars to school across the nation.

Salad Bars to Schools Success Stories

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.

  • Salad Bars in Los Angeles Schools: How Can You Follow Their Lead?With the help of Salad Bars to Schools, the Los Angeles Unified School District salad bar program shows what can happen when students and parents take initiative to support healthy eating in school cafeterias.
  • All Cincinnati Public Schools Have Salad BarsStudents now have access to a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day at their school’s salad bar.
  • Kiana School in Alaska Gets a Salad BarFor Alaskans who live in this remote northern village, eating healthy presents some unique challenges. The cold weather and lack of sunlight limit the fruits and vegetables grown here, and not much produce makes its way up to this area. Through Salad Bars to Schools, the Kiana’s salad bar program has been an overwhelming success.

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


Get a Salad Bar Information for applying for a salad bar grant.

Learn How Your School Can Add a Salad Bar Today! [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 Resources 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 Practitioners [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 Schools [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.