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Proper nourishment is essential for children to succeed in school, that’s no secret. That’s why National Heritage Academies (NHA) takes feeding scholars seriously – it’s critical to their success.

With proper nourishment, students perform better, listen more, have fewer behavior issues, and are less tardy.
Of the over 60,000 students NHA serves, nearly 70% are fed at an NHA school. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NHA even hit the milestone of delivering one million meals.

Dan Kuk, Manager of Food and Nutrition Services at NHA, is excited to be able to impact so many students’ lives through food service and nutrition education.

“I’m motivated to give our scholars the same opportunities or better than they would find in any local schools,” said Kuk. “My two daughters drive my passion to ensure that students have equal access to healthy and nutritious food, no matter the state or demographic.”

At NHA schools, students can choose from standard offerings, yet are encouraged to try new menu items to develop a curiousness regarding food consumption. It helps teach students to be conscious of food waste and the importance of consuming the right amount of food for themselves.

Kuk believes when students try new foods and learn good eating habits, it sets them up for their future health and wellness.

Here are three resources parents can use to learn more about childhood nutrition:
  1. MyPlate
MyPlate, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a colorful graphic that may look familiar. It offers nutritional guidelines, healthy habit tips, and explains the dietary food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and diary. It’s the template used for determining menus and offerings for students in NHA schools. MyPlate even has resources that help plan food group targets and shop for healthy food to help parents and kids make healthy choices.
  1. No Kid Hungry
According to No Kid Hungry, “as many as 1 in 6 kids in the United States, or about 11.7 million, may face childhood hunger this year.” No Kid Hungry provides resources, such as meal finders, for parents to use to locate food.
  1. Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation believes in promoting healthy environments so that young people can achieve lifelong good health, believing that every mind, every body, and every young person should be healthy and ready to succeed. They work with schools, youth-serving organizations, businesses, and communities to empower kids to develop lifelong healthy habits by ensuring the environments that surround them provide and promote good health. Use their Smart Snacks Calculator to help choose nutritious, kid-friendly snacks.
About National Heritage Academies:
NHA is a network of 98 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. For more information, visit

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