Technology & School Nutrition

Life Time Foundation Launches Digital Resource to Help Districts Choose Healthy Foods

The Life Time Foundation, a school nutrition- and movement-focused nonprofit organization, has introduced a free K–12 digital resource called Green Onion. This online software tool helps school districts, purchasing cooperatives, and food distributors nationwide to identify, remove, and replace unhealthy food ingredients and choose sustainable, healthy, and nutritional ingredients for school cafeterias.

The software draws on the Ingredient Guide for Better School Food Purchasing, created by a partnership between school nutrition professionals and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The LifeTime Foundation has also been involved with this collaboration since 2020, the organization said. It has partnered with 1WorldSync, a global data synchronization network, to distribute and update real time accurate and relevant product information in Green Onion.

The downloadable guides (a full and a quick reference guide) are available in English and Spanish.

The guide identifies “ingredients of concern,” such as chemicals, additives, and other substances and suggests alternatives. Section titles include the Unwanted List, the Watch List, and Allergens & Sensitivities. The software can also track users’ choices and progress in eliminating unhealthy ingredients.

“Green Onion is one of the most practical, impactful tools for improving school food that I have seen in my 36-year career in school nutrition,” said Katie Wilson, executive director of the Urban School Food Alliance (USFA), a collaborative of the largest school districts in the United States.

Visit the Green Onion page to learn more and to sign up for a free account.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.