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Traditional Foods

Traditional Foods in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is home to indigenous and traditional foods from many cultures. The USDA and DPI encourage the service of these foods in the USDA School Meals Programs. Traditional foods increase program participation, fruit and vegetable consumption, and students' knowledge and awareness of the food and culture Wisconsin has to offer! Below are resources to support the incorporation of traditional foods.

American Indian Traditional Foods

American Indian traditional foods are those that have been traditionally prepared and consumed by an American Indian nation. The following are examples of common, traditional foods in Wisconsin that may be served in USDA School Meals Programs:
  • Berries (cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, strawberries)
  • Bison
  • Fish (walleye, sturgeon, trout, salmon)
  • Maple syrup
  • Potatoes
  • The Three Sisters (corn, beans, and squash)
  • Wild rice
  • Venison

American Indian Traditional Foods in USDA School Meals Programs: A Wisconsin Farm to School Toolkit


In 2016, DPI's School Nutrition Team was awarded a USDA Support Services grant to increase the utilization of traditional foods in school meals programs. Through this grant, the following resources were developed for school nutrition professionals:

Some wild rice and maple syrup footage and imagery appear through kind permission of Wisconsin Public Television.


Kirsten Homstad, MS, RDN, CD
Nutrition Program Consultant
(608) 267-9132
Christina Rothe, RDN, CD
Public Health Nutritionist
(608) 266-2582