What's Cooking?Nutrition Tips and ResourcesAbout the School Lunch InitiativeHow to provide support

General Info
Printable Menu Calendars
BUSD Food Policies
BUSD Green Procurement Policy

Food and snack policies

Berkeley Unified School District Wellness Policy*


The Board of Education recognizes the important connection between a healthy diet and a student's ability to learn effectively and achieve high standards in school. The Board also recognizes the school's role, as part of the larger community, to promote family health, sustainable agriculture and environmental restoration.

The Board of Education recognizes that the sharing of food is a fundamental experience for all peoples; a primary way to nurture and celebrate our cultural diversity; and an excellent bridge for building friendships, and inter-generational bonds.


The educational mission is to improve the health of the entire community by teaching students and families ways to establish and maintain life-long healthy eating habits. The mission shall be accomplished through nutrition education, garden experiences, the food served in schools, and core academic content in the classroom.


  1. Ensure that no student in Berkeley is hungry.
  2. Ensure that a healthy and nutritious breakfast, lunch and after school snack is available to every student at every school so that students are prepared to learn to their fullest potential.
  3. Eliminate the reduced-price category for school lunch, breakfast and snacks, so that all low-income children have healthy food available at no cost.
  4. Ensure that all qualified children become eligible for free meals by frequently checking with Alameda County Social Services.
  5. Ensure maximum participation in the school meal program by developing a coordinated, comprehensive outreach and promotion plan for the school meal programs.
  6. Shift from food-based menu planning to nutrient-based planning (as set forth under USDA guidelines) to allow for more flexible food selection.
  7. Ensure that the nutritional value of the food served significantly improves upon USDA Dietary Guidelines by providing nutritious, fresh, tasty, locally grown food that reflects Berkeley's cultural diversity.
  8. Ensure that the food served shall be organic to the maximum extent possible, as defined by the California Certified Organic Farmers.
  9. Eliminate potential harmful food additives and processes, such as bovine growth hormones, irradiation, and genetically modified foods.
  10. Serve meals in a pleasant environment with sufficient time for eating, while fostering good manners and respect for fellow students.
  11. Maximize the reduction of waste by recycling, reusing, composting and purchasing recycled products. Each school site shall have a recycling program.
  12. Ensure that a full service kitchen will be installed at school sites where public bond money is expended to repair or remodel a school.


Suggestions for Healthy Food Choices in Snacks*

In light of the fact that childhood obesity and nutritional deficiency-related diseases are on the rise in the United States, we in the Berkeley community are obligated to promote and mentor healthy eating habits and balanced lifestyles through student education. Part of the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) Mission stated in the Integrated Policy for Nutrition Education, Physical Activity and Food includes improving the well-being of the entire community through teaching students ways to establish and maintain lifelong health through better eating habits and physical activity.

In keeping with this goal, the Policy adopted the stipulation that foods offered to students and BUSD employees during the day as snacks, incentives, or refreshments in school offices and on school grounds be as healthful and nutritious as possible. Teachers, administrators and parents who model healthy behavior increase the likelihood of having a positive influence on student behavior.

Recommended beverages, fresh fruits & vegetables, and snacks

Whenever possible, choose fruits, vegetables and beverages that are organically grown and are pesticide-, hormone-, and antibiotic-free. Try the following healthy options:

  • Water and sparkling waters
  • Herbal teas (hot and iced)
  • Pure 100 percent fruit juice and fruit juice blends
  • Sparkling 100 percent fruit juice and fruit juice blends
  • Blends of 100 percent juice and sparkling water
  • Natural fruit-flavored waters
  • Whole and freshly cut fresh fruit, local and seasonal if possible
  • Raisins and dried fruit, including 100 percent fruit roll-ups and fruit leather strips
  • Fresh veggies served with low-fat salad dressing, dips, salsas, bean dips or hummus (pureed chickpeas)
  • Ants on a Log – celery with peanut butter and raisins
  • Yogurt parfaits made with fresh fruit and healthy condiments, such as granola, trail mix, dried fruits
  • Fresh fruit salad
  • Fruit juice smoothies
  • Any fruit or vegetable served as crudités
  • Trail mixes (without roasted nuts)
  • Fruit concentrate- and honey-sweetened yogurt with some granolas
  • Real cheese and whole grain crackers
  • Tortilla chips and salsa, guacamole, or bean dips
  • Select snack or nut bars (not roasted)
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Raw nuts
  • Compressed rice and grain cakes

* The policies on this page have been abridged for the website.

Click here to download the BUSD Wellness Policy (100kb pdf file)
Click here to download the BUSD Snack Policy (92kb pdf file)