Meal Appeal for School Nutrition Programs

Meal Appeal Initiative for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) consists of easy-to-use information and resources that provide child nutrition professionals inspiration and tools to create healthy meals that look appealing, taste great, and comply with school nutrition guidelines.

The result, more children embracing the 3E’s of Healthy Living – Education, Exercise and Eating Right, and a stronger Texas.

If you would like to share quick tips, ideas or resources for how to boost meal appeal, please email

20 Grab and Go Recipes from Culinary Institute of Child Nutrition (CICN) to add to you NSLP, SBP, and Summer menus. Click here or the image to the right to access!
NEW Meal Appeal Training!

The training provides more meal appeal tips for school meals to be used with the Meal Appeal Toolkit below.
Click here to access!
Meal Appeal Training
TDA’s USDA Foods Recipe Suggestion Book
This recipe book contains standardized recipes for black-eyed peas, chickpeas, pepper and onion mix, and kidney beans for NSLP, SBP, and SFSP menus.

Download the Top 10 Easy Wins to boost your meal appeal for NSLP lunches!
NSLP Top 10 Wins
Download the Top 10 Easy Wins to boost your meal appeal for SBP breakfasts!
SBP Top 10 Wins
We've made it EVEN EASIER for you to boost your meal appeal!

Click the image below to download the
for the National School Lunch Program!
Meal Appeal Toolkit for NSLP



NEW! School Meals Design Guide 

This No Kid Hungry-created guide contains ready-to-use activities and tools for nutrition teams to make meal programs more student-centered.



Activating Students activities and tools to include students in the meal program design and gain authentic insights on the participants served.

Engaging Caregivers  activities to help engage with caregivers into the planning process and build trust in the community around the meal programs.

Connecting with Community  resources on how to engage the broader community and collaboratively design meal programs.

Human-Centered Design 101 - resources to help center students and communities in the meal design process. 


Newsletter Archive
January April

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help. Additional translations services available as well.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Logo

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The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) lists these resources and providers as a service to school nutrition professionals.
This list does not constitute an endorsement or verification of accuracy on the part of TDA.