NUTRITION FAIR & FESTIVAL PLANNING GUIDE
Why have a nutrition fair?
A nutrition fair helps students find the fun in being healthy! These activities can bring together students,
parents, school personnel, and community members in a fun setting. It gives them the opportunity for
hands-on experiences for learning about nutrition and physical activity, and to sample nutritious fruits
and vegetables in a fun environment.

Who is the audience for the nutrition fair?
Students and parents are an appropriate target audience for a nutrition fair during the school day, after
school, or in the evening. Weekend fairs will also draw community members in addition to students and
parents. When planning a fair, remember that after school and evening fairs often are more successful
when they are done in conjunction with another event such as an Open House or Back to School Night.
Also, student performances as a main attraction at any nutrition fair will help to bring out not only
parents, but other family members, as well.

What activities do you want at your nutrition fair?
Each nutrition fair or festival is different, but they should all be nutrition-related (when using Network
funds). Successful fairs often have many different activities and provide participants with a variety of
experiences. Many fairs include tasting and sampling, fruit and vegetable games, and physical activity
promotion related to fruits and vegetables. Other ideas for fairs are booths (nutrition-related art
activities, donated vegetable seed planting, etc.) and farm stands. There are many outside agencies
that can give you ideas and provide services for little or no cost (refer to Nutrition, Food Assistance and
Physical Activity and School Gardening resource pages). Some services are also available through the
Network Awards.

What other agencies can provide assistance for the nutrition fair?
Many agencies will come to your school’s fair to provide different services and activities for participants.
Be sure to speak to them early in your planning to ensure their availability and to “reserve” their time.
There are also agencies that may provide donated items for your fair (incentives, food, drinks, etc). See
Resources section for lists of agencies and what they can provide. Your Network Point Person, along
with other staff members and parent groups at your school site may also have ideas of local resources
that may be available.

How can you incorporate a nutrition fair into your school’s Network for a Healthy California—
LAUSD award:
The nutrition fair should have been included in your SMART goals for the year, and funds should have
been budgeted accordingly.
Refer to the Allowables/Unallowable section of this Binder to help you plan your fair. Considerations for
a nutrition fair would include:
    Personnel: teachers, school nurse, food service workers, and custodial staff that will help plan
         the event and work at it.
    Food: provide healthy food only such as fruits and vegetables for tasting and sampling, and
         accompanying paper goods. The Network is no longer able to purchase food. Visit your local
         grocery stores and farmers markets and see if they would be willing to donate food for your
         health fair.
    Contracted services: farm stands, chefs in the classroom, theatrical presentations, etc.
    Printed materials: paper goods, newsletters/flyers, photos to document the activity. (Note: digital
         cameras are not an allowable expense.)
    Network for a Healthy California—LAUSD funds may only be used to fund nutrition-related
         activities. Many of the items you need may already be at your school site. Also, be sure to
         enlist the help of parents and volunteers to donate desired items.

2011-2012 Network for a Healthy California—LAUSD                                          J13
How can you advertise your nutrition fair?
Send notices home with students and post flyers to advertise the event in your community. Try to get
media coverage by sending out media releases (see Section L or call LAUSD Office of
Communications). Be sure to post signs letting participants know that parts of the event may be
photographed and/or videotaped.

How can the Network and LAUSD be involved and offer assistance?
   Schedule a Farmers’ Market Produce Stand if you have budgeted for the Farmers program in
      your Network or NAC Award.
   Schedule a chef or several chefs to cook and provide tasting and sampling if you have budgeted
      for the Chef program.
   Contact the Network for nutrition-related physical activity promotion ideas (ex. Nutrition
      Olympics) to use at your nutrition fair.

What else should you consider?
   Weather: If you hold the event during a typically hot time of year, it is a good idea to plan to put
      up canopies if they are accessible and to plan activities in shaded areas. Have a back-up plan
      for inclement weather such as moving the event to the gym.
   Bathrooms: Plan to have the bathrooms stocked with extra toilet paper, towels and hand soap.
      Posting signs for the restroom is helpful and have them unlocked during the set-up of the event.
   Parking: If the event is held on the playground, driving onto the playground to unload is ideal. If
      that is not appropriate, then try to have a gate open to unload near the event. Often, parking
      restrictions can be lifted on the day of a special event. Signs posted for vendors on where to go
      are very helpful if the location on campus is not obvious. Also, remember to reserve parking
      spaces for your helpers from other agencies and vendors.
   Network Portfolio: Include copies of flyers, press releases, photos, receipts, and other
      information about your nutrition fair with your Network documentation.
   Contact your Network Point Person at (818) 609-2550 for any additional assistance planning
      your school’s nutrition fair.
   The Network would like to participate in your health or nutrition fair! Please notify your Network
      Point Person at least two weeks before your event.

           The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication is for the information and convenience of the reader.
Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Agriculture or the Agricultural Research
                              Service of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.

2011-2012 Network for a Healthy California—LAUSD                                                                     J14

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