Knox County Tennessee

Nutrition Education Activity Training

neat photo

N.E.A.T. Harvest program

neat harvest

The N.E.A.T. Program and the YMCA are partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank to help students eat and enjoy more fruits and vegetables after school and at home through the new N.E.A.T. Harvest program. During it’s first month, 100 students across three afterschool programs took home a variety bag of fruits and vegetables.

Students participating in the N.E.A.T. Harvest program will receive:

  • A monthly variety box of fresh fruits and vegetables 
  • Recipe ideas and other tips for how to use the produce at home 
  • Opportunities to taste new fruits and veggies and learn healthy cooking skills after school

Nutrition Education Activity Training

What is N.E.A.T.?

N.E.A.T., or Nutrition Education Activity Training, is a program designed to teach and promote healthy eating behaviors among youth in Knox County. N.E.A.T. began as an initiative to combat childhood obesity and now reaches more than 1,000 children in afterschool sites. During the school year, trained volunteers lead interactive discussions and games centered on healthy eating and physical activity. Children also taste test healthy foods as part of the lessons.

N.E.A.T. Approved

Seeking to enhance the N.E.A.T. Program and create healthy environments, KCHD and local after-school programs developed the N.E.A.T. Approved designation. This designation requires after-school providers to incorporate environmental policy changes at their sites that promote healthy eating and physical activity. Eligible afterschool sites will be designated N.E.A.T. Approved Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on their level of achievement of the environmental policies related to nutrition, physical activity and special events. Parents are encouraged to get involved at their child’s afterschool program to help plan and participate in N.E.A.T. Approved Family Involvement events that include delicious N.E.A.T. Approved foods and fun games and activities for all ages! 

Want to learn more? Check out our YouTube video to see what other UT students have to say about their experience as a N.E.A.T. Educator-

N.E.A.T. Approved Policies

Nutrition Policies

*N.E.A.T. Approved snack criteria:

  • Minimum – maximum calories:  150 to 300
  • Saturated fat (% of total calories): <10%
  • Percent calories from total sugar:  ≤35%


  • Exempt from saturated fat criteria: reduced-fat cheese (including part-skim mozzarella); nuts, seeds or nut/seed butters
  • Exempt from sugar criteria: frozen fruit with no added sugars; fruit canned in 100% juice, light syrup or water; dried fruits with no added sugars; dried cranberries, tart cherries or blueberries, sweetened only for processing and/or palatability; yogurt with less than 23 grams of sugar per 6 oz.
  • Exempt from saturated fat and sugar criteria: trail mix of only dried fruit and nuts and/or seeds, with no added sugars or fats

Specific beverage guidelines:

  • Fat in milk products: Fat-free (skim) Low-fat (1%) milk, and yogurt
  • Juice specifications: Only 100% juice; amount served not to exceed 6.75 oz.; 6 oz. portion preferred; limit to 90 calories per 6 oz. serving or 100 calories per 6.75 oz. serving; strongly suggest pairing with non-sweet snack
  • Amount of milk served per snack in ounces: 8 oz.
  • 100% juice and flavored fat-free and flavored 1% milk can be served no more than a total of 3 times per week

**N.E.A.T. Approved meal criteria:

  • Minimum – maximum calories:  550 – 650 calories
  • Saturated fat (% of total calories):  <10% of calories
  • ***Sodium (mg):  ≤1230 

*Criteria based on USDA Smart Snacks in School Standards and the CACFP Child Meal Standards

**Criteria based on a weekly average

***Sodium will reduced to USDA FNS Target 2, which is less than or equal to 935mg, by school year 2017-2018. Sodium will be reduced to USDA FNS Final Target, which is less than or equal to 640mg, by school year 2022-2023.

Other Nutrition Policies:

  • Food is not used as a reward or punishment.
  • Vending and concessions will meet established nutrition standards.
  • Staff will role model healthy behaviors to students.

Physical Activity Policies

glod ribbon

silver ribbon

bronze ribbon

15 minutes or more of physical activity offered per hour

10-14 minutes of physical activity offered per hour

5-9 minutes of physical activity offered per hour

  • Physical activity includes any physically active video games, such as Wii Fit.
  • Physical activity is not used or taken away as punishment.

Family Involvement

  • The Program Site will host at least ONE family event per year to promote healthy eating, physical activity and being N.E.A.T. Approved!

Special Event Policies

  • A special event is defined as any non-routine event, such as a party, that is hosted by the site.
  • Such an event must follow the above nutrition policies and food provided must meet N.E.A.T. Approved snack or meal criteria.

Websites and Other Resources

N.E.A.T. Approved Sites

Congratulations to the afterschool programs that have achieved N.E.A.T. Approved status at the Gold, Silver or Bronze award level for the 2017-2018 school year.

N.E.A.T. Approved Gold
A.L. Lotts Elementary, YMCA
Ball Camp Elementary, YMCA
Bearden Elementary, YMCA
Beaumont Elementary, YMCA
Blue Grass Elementary, YMCA
Brickey McCloud Elementary, SHADES of Development
Cedar Bluff Elementary, YMCA
Christenberry Recreation Center, Knoxville Parks and Recreation
Farragut Intermediate, YMCA
Green Magnet Academy, YMCA
Halls Elementary, YMCA
Hardin Valley Elementary, YMCA
Karns Elementary, SHADES of Development
Mt. Olive Elementary, SHADES of Development
New Hopewell Elementary, SHADES of Development
Northshore Elementary, YMCA
Pleasant Ridge Elementary, YMCA
Powell Elementary, SHADES of Development
Rocky Hill Elementary, YMCA
Sarah Moore Greene Elementary, YMCA
Shannondale Elementary, YMCA
Spring Hill Elementary, YMCA
Sunnyview Elementary, SHADES of Development
The Restoration House, Emerald Youth Foundation
West Hills Elementary, YMCA

N.E.A.T. Approved Silver
Dogwood Elementary, Great Schools Partnership
Halls/Powell Boys and Girls Club
Haslam Boys and Girls Club
Inskip Elementary School, University-Assisted Community Schools
Middlebrook Boys and Girls Club
Montgomery Village Boys and Girls Club
North Ridge Crossing Boys and Girls Club
Vestal Boys and Girls Club
Walter P. Taylor Boys and Girls Club
Western Heights Boys and Girls Club

N.E.A.T. Approved Bronze
Norwood Elementary, Great Schools Partnership

For more information about N.E.A.T. in Knox County, contact us here.

Have Questions?
Call: 865-215-5555

Need to report a public
health emergency?

Call 865-215-5093

On the first Wednesday of every month, all KCHD offices and clinics are closed in the morning for staff in-service. On these days, the main location (140 Dameron Ave.) will open at 11 a.m. and the West Clinic (1028 Old Cedar Bluff) will open at 11:30 a.m.

Clinics will also open at 10:30 a.m. (Main location) and 11 a.m. (West Clinic) on the following Wednesdays: April 17 and July 17. All other offices will open at 8 a.m.