Standards of Practice for Nutrition Integrity

SNA Keys to Excellence

Keys to Excellence Best Practices Document 

Keys to Excellence: Standards of Practice for Nutrition Integrity is an initiative of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) designed to assist schools achieve nutrition integrity goals at the administrative, management, and operational levels. This tool, through its standards of practice and indicators, defines national standards for quality programs and provides a framework for continuous program review, evaluation, and improvement. The Keys to
Excellence are also the basis for the 4 Key Areas in USDA’s Professional Standards for School Nutrition Programs Personnel launched in July 2015.

The Keys to Excellence was extensively field-tested in schools within 52 districts during the 1994-1995 school year. The information they provided was the basis for making numerous revisions in this completed document. The latest revision was completed in August 2017 after thorough review by SNA’s Professional Development Committee and Nutrition and Research Committees.

A model school nutrition policy, developed by SNA in 1992, has been endorsed by many state agencies and numerous allied professional organizations. SNA encourages schools to endorse this policy and to develop goals and strategies that address the core concepts provided in this model.

Achieving nutrition integrity means taking a comprehensive approach to program planning, management, and operations. It also means integrating nutrition into the total
educational program of the school. This includes addressing the environments in which meals are served, nutrition education in the classroom and cafeteria, parent and teacher involvement, training school nutrition personnel, and school policies that enhance the effectiveness of the program.

We believe you will find Keys to Excellence: Standards of Practice for Nutrition Integrity a useful and realistic tool. Its purpose is to assist you in providing quality programs and nutrition education for students in our nations’ schools. It is also a helpful resource to reference when preparing for the SNS Credentialing Exam.

Questions? Email or call  (301) 686-3100. 


"SNAAZ membership allows access to attend conferences, meet school nutrition associates, share ideas, and learn new industry concepts."

Mary Venable

Paradise Valley Schools

"I have been involved in the School Nutrition Association and SNAAZ for over 20 years. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without the help and support of SNAAZ. SNA provided me with scholarship opportunities that helped me to finish my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. "

Michael Clark

Crane School District

"I appreciate the members of SNAAZ. They are always helpful and we can always count on their feedback and direction. We love getting new members involved and recommend everyone should be a part of SNAAZ and join their local chapter to get hands on experience and network with other professionals."

Corenda Lewis

Westside Chapter President

"My membership has afforded me the ability to stay up with the proposed regulations happening in congress that affect the school nutrition industry. And with the help of other state members, I have had the chance to help reorganize a chapter that has been disabled for 20+ years."

Stephen Protz

Tucson Unified School District

"SNAAZ gives me the opportunity to connect with many different Child Nutrition professionals throughout the state, helping me to grow professionally. "

Ronald Beck

Litchfield Schools

“ SNAAZ provides countless opportunities to grow professionally and network with amazing leaders in school nutrition. With every conference and meeting, I can always count on learning something new and valuable to take back to our schools. I highly recommend becoming a member of SNAAZ to anyone working in child nutrition!”

Brienne Berg

Creighton Schools

Being a member of SNAAZ for over 18 years has provided me with knowledge and training that I could not have received elsewhere. It has also been given me the opportunity to serve on the boards of both the chapter and state level.  Being a member is a great way to professionally grow and enable yourself to be the best you can be.

Lorrie Ahern

Deer Valley School District

"As a broker, being a member of SNAAZ allows me to better understand the goals and mission of school foodservice professionals. Without SNAAZ to help educate me I would be lost on what is important to its members. SNAAZ has done a great job of including everyone from cooks to directors to processors, brokers and everyone in between."

Julie Bujan

Acosta Foodservice