NEST Nutrition Guidelines

NEST recognizes the importance of eating a healthy diet by consuming calories that contain vitamins and nutrients to help children grow, think and develop.  Many prepared and pre-packaged food contain “empty calories” (foods high in sugar and fat). When children consume empty calories they  displace more nutrient-dense foods which leads to weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. NEST has adopted the following guidelines to ensure that children who attend the NEST program get the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.

I. Afterschool snacks must contain at least two different components of the following four: a serving of vegetables or fruits or full strength vegetable or fruit juice; a serving of whole grain or enriched bread or cereal; a serving of fluid milk; a serving of meat or meat alternate.

FruitBanana, Orange, Apple, Mandarin, Melon Cups, Grapes, Peach, Nectarine,
GrainWhole Grain Crackers, Mini Bagel, Granola Bars, Granola, Whole Grain Roll
Vegetables Carrots, Celery Sticks, Bell Pepper slices, Vegetable Juice (V8 Fusion or Aldi Blendz)
ProteinTurkey or Ham Sandwich, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Peanuts, Almonds,
Granola Bars, Hard Boiled Egg
Protein +
Cheese and Crackers, Cheese Sticks, Cheese Cubes, Aseptic Milk Box

*After they have eaten a healthy snack, children may be provided with a fun treat/reward (chips, popsicle, etc.)  for achieving their daily goal (read for 20 minutes, completing homework, etc.)

II. Summer Lunches- Children attending the Lunch, Learn & Play during the summer months are provided:

Food Group# of ServingsItems May Include:
1-1.5 Cup
Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, etc.
Grain3-5 oz Bread, granola bar
Vegetable1 Cup Carrots, Celery
Protein1-2 oz1-2 slices of ham, turkey or peanut butter
Calcium8 ozMilk

*After children have eaten their lunch they may be offered a treat (i.e. popsicle, chips, etc.)

III. Weekend Packs: Each child* registered for the Summer Lunch, Learn & Play program is eligible to take home a weekend pack. Each weekend pack is intended to provide 3 healthy meals containing:

Food Group# of ServingsItems May Include:
Fruit4.5 Cups (1.5 C per day)
Apples, oranges, etc.
Grain15 oz (5 oz per day)Bread, granola bars, Mac & Cheese
Vegetable6 Cups(3 C. per day)V-8 Fusion
Protein12-15 oz(4-5 oz per day)Canned tuna
Calcium6 Cups (2 C per day)Shelf-stable milk

*NEST serves a wide range of ages of children. The NEST Nutrition guidelines are based on recommendations for children ages 5-13.

Click to access What_Are_Empty_Calories_ChooseMyplate.pdf