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University of Minnesota Extension

Extension is expanding its online education and resources to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions.

Nutrition Building Blocks for Great Trays online course

Are you a school foodservice staff looking to:

  • Meet the basic nutrition requirements for School Nutrition Association (SNA) Level 1 certification?

  • Get continuing education units?

If so, than Nutrition Building Blocks for Great Trays® Online Course is for you!

About the course

By completing this course, you will learn about:

  • Health benefits resulting from meeting the dietary guidelines for fruits and vegetables.

  • Strategies to make fruits and vegetables appealing to students.

  • Health benefits of whole grain foods and how to identify using product package labeling and description.

  • Sodium in foods and how simple scratch cooking can reduce sodium in school meals.

  • Health benefits of consuming fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.

  • Calorie balance.

  • What role fat plays in the body and what foods have which types of fat.

  • Key elements of marketing through listening and sharing.

  • Aspects of the serving line that promotes healthy food choices.

  • Roles school nutrition staff play in the success of the school meal program.

  • Tools to help support your healthy menu.

  • Current U.S. Department of Agriculture school foodservice guidelines.

You need to complete the entire course in order to meet the SNA Level 1 certification.

At the end of the course, you will be able to get a certificate of completion to use for your SNA certification application. Learn more on how to earn your SNA certificate in school nutrition.

Course modules

The course is divided into ten course modules. You can complete the modules in any order. Here is more information about what to expect from each module.


Cost and registration

After you register, you will receive a link to access the online course. You can access the online course anytime within the two year time period. The time spent on this course depends on whether you print off all the curriculum resources to review the hard copies, or review the content directly from the website.

This course costs $95 and will take about 8 hours to complete.

Register now


When the online courses are made available, you will be asked to complete quizzes. After successfully completing all quizzes, you will be directed to a webpage to print off your certificate of participation. This certificate is what you need to show others for documentation of your SNA Level 1 certification.

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