National Cancer Institute Endorses Dairy Council of California’s Nutrition Education

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Dairy Council of California, a quasi-state government nutrition education organization committed to elevating the health and wellness of children and families, announced its fourth grade Nutrition Pathfinders program was accepted as a Research-Tested Intervention Program (RTIP) by the National Cancer Institute.

NCI’s RTIPs is a searchable database that provides public health practitioners with easy access to evidence-based cancer control interventions and program materials. To qualify, listings must demonstrate measurable impact as research-tested intervention programs. 

Dairy Council of California’s Nutrition Pathfinders for fourth grade is part of a K-12 nutrition education curriculum designed to teach students healthy eating habits and encourage physical activity. Evaluated by an independent research group tracking the program’s effectiveness of improving knowledge, attitudes and nutrition choices, Nutrition Pathfinders demonstrated effectiveness in teaching healthy eating and exercise patterns to children and their families. 

The study showed:

  • Improved student knowledge of the food groups, key nutrients in foods and how to make nutritious food choices.
  • Improved nutrition behaviors in students and families, including decreased consumption of highly processed foods and sugary drinks.

“Dairy Council of California’s free nutrition education curriculum is an effective classroom resource teachers can use to educate and empower their students to eat healthfully,” said Dr. Megan Greene, a fourth-grade teacher at Cesar Chavez Elementary. “It’s easy to teach, aligns with Common Core Standards and truly does empower students to make healthier choices in the cafeteria.”

“Educators are influential gatekeepers of children, teaching lifelong skills every day in the classroom,” said Tracy Mendez, R.D.N. and director of nutrition education at Dairy Council of California. “Integrating nutrition education lessons in the classroom equips students with the right tools to make healthy eating decisions that will last them a lifetime.”

Dairy Council of California’s nutrition education resources are developed using the latest nutrition research. They align with Common Core State Standards and include teacher-friendly, plug-and-play lessons that use proven behavior-change models. Available to educators teaching K-12, the nutrition lessons cover relevant food topics like identifying nutritious foods, food label evaluation, appropriate serving sizes, how to create nutritionally balanced meals and snacks, and the importance of physical activity.

Free to California schools, Dairy Council of California’s nutrition education curriculum can be ordered at For a small fee, out-of-state schools can also order classroom lessons by calling 1.866.572.1359.

About Dairy Council of California
For a century, Dairy Council of California has empowered stakeholders, including educators, health professionals and community leaders, to elevate the health of children and families through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits. Funded by California’s dairy farm families and local milk processors and under the guidance of California Department of Food and Agriculture, Dairy Council of California’s free science-based nutrition education resources, Mobile Dairy Classroom assemblies, training programs and online resources educate millions of students and families in California and throughout the United States. Learn more at