It’s true: kids really love real food.

Our K-12 certification program is designed to make eating at school not just nutritious, but delicious. Participating districts report that it works. Kids rave, more of them start eating school meals, and as a result, the Nutrition program’s bottom line moves in the right direction.

Get Certified

10 evidence-based standards. Multiple paths to certification.

Eat Real certification consists of 10 evidence-based standards that measure 34 key performance indicators in a school district’s menu plans and procurement practices. Our team works with each district to find the path to certification that best supports their goals, strengths, and circumstances.

The 10 Eat Real Standards

Reduced Sugar
Whole Carbohydrates
Fresh Produce
Healthy Fats
Minimal Processing
Sustainable Sourcing
Responsible Proteins
Menu Variety
Minimized Food Waste
Real Food Education

From assessment to celebration in two years.

It doesn’t take long to make real change. The average time from initial assessment to Eat Real Certification is 23 months. Our team sticks with districts every step of the way, helping identify their greatest opportunities for impact, introducing them to best practices and new resources, and connecting them with fellow changemakers.

It wasn’t until Eat Real that I realized we could have a bigger impact. They gave me the roadmap to a better program.

Rebecca Steffler,  K-12 Nutrition Supervisor

Our goal is to reach every school cafeteria in America. 

That’s why Eat Real certification is offered to public school districts free of charge. Our program is funded by state and federal governments, as well as the generosity of foundations, corporations, and individual donors.

Make a Donation

Most districts are so impressed that they set their sights on gold.

Some school districts start the program with real food already central to their menus; others are at the beginning of their journey. Our tiered certification program leaves room for everyone, from green tier to gold, silver, and platinum. And most districts are so impressed with the positive impact of certification that they set their sights on a higher tier.

Contact us

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166 lbs removed

1700 plant-based entrées added

1M+ lbs sourced

Our participating districts have had an incredible impact on their food programs, and on the students they serve.

Eat Real Certified

On the path