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Healthy Eating

Schools have a unique opportunity to positively influence students through educating, role modeling, and creating healthy and supportive learning environments.

What Works?

Creating a healthy school nutrition environment is best achieved by:

  • Demonstrating consistent messaging between what is taught in the healthy eating curriculum and types of foods available in the school.
  • Supporting initiatives and programs that follow evidence-based teaching practices, and take a whole-school approach.
  • Ensuring program longevity and sustainability.
  • Obtaining regular input by staff and students in planning and implementing activities.
  • Providing on-going capacity building opportunities for staff.
  • Including train-the-trainer sessions facilitated by registered dietitians, regarding nutrition education and best practices for the delivery of education on vegetables and fruit.
  • Utilizing cross-curricular approaches when teaching about healthy eating.
  • Supporting the healthy eating portion of the school curriculum by encouraging your students to actively participate in all related aspects of food provision in the school. This could include:
    • Ensuring healthy school food is available at breakfast, snack or lunch time.
    • Providing a pleasant and relaxing environment for food consumption; taking into consideration feedback from students.
    • Including the students in developing school policies around serving healthy snacks, meals, and water.
    • Ensuring fresh, safe water is accessible to students at school.
    • Providing opportunities for experiential or “hands-on” learning, such as food preparation, taste testing, and gardening for students to practice and develop food literacy.
    • Involving parents and local community partners (food organizations, health units, etc.).
    • Making links with associated issues, such as mental and physical well-being, the cultural role of food, environmental influence on food choice, and the role of the media in marketing food.

Resources

Resources to support implementation can be found in the sections below. Educators may also contact their School’s Public Health Nurse for additional support and consultation.

Background Information for Educators

A Tool for Every Educator

Contact your School’s Public Health Nurse for a staff training.

A Tool for Every Educator resource, along with staff training, provides evidence based information to help you have a positive impact on student’s physical activity, healthy eating, body image and self-esteem. Tips in this resource focus on role modeling, teaching and creating a supportive school environment.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds – Healthy Eating Fact Sheet

A fact sheet on healthy eating created by the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds team at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. This is an excellent resource to promote and educate about healthy eating.

Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy Elementary Teacher Resource Guide 2011

Resources to assist elementary teachers in teaching healthy eating by providing an overview of PPM 150, making connections between PPM 150 and the curriculum, identifying roles of teachers in creating a healthy nutrition environment, promoting health literacy in students and more.

Raising Healthy Eaters in the Classroom Handout (Elementary)

This resource shares information on creating a healthy eating environment that helps students foster positive relationships with food.

Grades K–3 Teaching Tools

BrightBites©

BrightBites© breaks school nutrition down into fun, easy badges. Entire schools (elementary and secondary) or individual classes/groups can sign up as teams. By earning badges, teams are listed on the BrightBites© Hall of Fame and receive recognition on social media. Teachers and other school leaders can use free  BrightBites© resources to guide their teams every step of the way. BrightBites© is a fun, modern way to boost student well-being – one bite at a time. The BrightBites Badge Checker can be used to help you choose which badge to work on next!

BrightBites© is written and maintained by Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH) members.

Canada’s Food Guide Snapshot

The new (2019) version of Canada’s Food Guide.

Eat Well Plate

The Eat Well Plate supplements Canada’s Food Guide and demonstrates food group proportions, encouraging the idea of making half of our plate vegetables and fruit.

Foodland Ontario

Food facts, local food, seasonal food, Kid’s Corner with quizzes and activities centered around Ontario food products.

Grade 1–3 Teaching Tools

OPHEA Ontario Physical Health Education Association

OPHEA has updated their healthy eating lesson plans to reflect the new 2019 Health and Physical Education curriculum and the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide. To access the lesson plans, click on the hyperlink above and then choose the grade you are looking for on the right-hand side of the page. You will then see a hyperlink to “Healthy Eating Lesson Plans” at the top of the page for each grade.

Background Information for Educators

A Tool for Every Educator

Contact your School’s Public Health Nurse for a staff training.

A Tool for Every Educator resource, along with staff training, provides evidence based information to help you have a positive impact on student’s physical activity, healthy eating, body image and self-esteem. Tips in this resource focus on role modeling, teaching and creating a supportive school environment.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds – Healthy Eating Fact Sheet

A fact sheet on healthy eating created by the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds team at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. This is an excellent resource to promote and educate about healthy eating.

Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy Elementary Teacher Resource Guide 2011

Resources to assist elementary teachers in teaching healthy eating by providing an overview of PPM 150, making connections between PPM 150 and the curriculum, identifying roles of teachers in creating a healthy nutrition environment, promoting health literacy in students and more.

Raising Healthy Eaters in the Classroom Handout (Elementary)

This resource shares information on creating a healthy eating environment that helps students foster positive relationships with food.

Grades 4–6 Teaching Tools

OPHEA Ontario Physical Health Education Association

OPHEA has updated their healthy eating lesson plans to reflect the new 2019 Health and Physical Education curriculum and the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide. To access the lesson plans, click on the hyperlink above and then choose the grade you are looking for on the right-hand side of the page. You will then see a hyperlink to “Healthy Eating Lesson Plans” at the top of the page for each grade.

BrightBites©

BrightBites© breaks school nutrition down into fun, easy badges. Entire schools (elementary and secondary) or individual classes/groups can sign up as teams. By earning badges, teams are listed on the BrightBites© Hall of Fame and receive recognition on social media. Teachers and other school leaders can use free  BrightBites© resources to guide their teams every step of the way. BrightBites© is a fun, modern way to boost student well-being – one bite at a time. The BrightBites Badge Checker can be used to help you choose which badge to work on next!

BrightBites© is written and maintained by Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH) members.

Canada’s Food Guide Snapshot

The new (2019) version of Canada’s Food Guide.

Eat Well Plate

The Eat Well Plate supplements Canada’s Food Guide and demonstrates food group proportions, encouraging the idea of making half of our plate vegetables and fruit.

Foodland Ontario

Food facts, local food, seasonal food, Kid’s Corner with quizzes and activities centered around Ontario food products.

Background Information for Educators

A Tool for Every Educator

Contact your School’s Public Health Nurse for a staff training.

A Tool for Every Educator resource, along with staff training, provides evidence based information to help you have a positive impact on student’s physical activity, healthy eating, body image and self-esteem. Tips in this resource focus on role modeling, teaching and creating a supportive school environment.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds – Healthy Eating Fact Sheet

A fact sheet on healthy eating created by the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds team at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. This is an excellent resource to promote and educate about healthy eating.

Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy Elementary Teacher Resource Guide 2011

Resources to assist elementary teachers in teaching healthy eating by providing an overview of PPM 150, making connections between PPM 150 and the curriculum, identifying roles of teachers in creating a healthy nutrition environment, promoting health literacy in students and more.

Raising Healthy Eaters in the Classroom Handout (Secondary)

This resource shares information on creating a healthy eating environment that helps students foster positive relationships with food.

Grades 7–8 Teaching Tools

OPHEA Ontario Physical Health Education Association

OPHEA has updated their healthy eating lesson plans to reflect the new 2019 Health and Physical Education curriculum and the 2019 Canada’s Food Guide. To access the lesson plans, click on the hyperlink above and then choose the grade you are looking for on the right-hand side of the page. You will then see a hyperlink to “Healthy Eating Lesson Plans” at the top of the page for each grade.

BrightBites©

BrightBites© breaks school nutrition down into fun, easy badges. Entire schools (elementary and secondary) or individual classes/groups can sign up as teams. By earning badges, teams are listed on the BrightBites© Hall of Fame and receive recognition on social media. Teachers and other school leaders can use free  BrightBites© resources to guide their teams every step of the way. BrightBites© is a fun, modern way to boost student well-being – one bite at a time. The BrightBites Badge Checker can be used to help you choose which badge to work on next!

BrightBites© is written and maintained by Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH) members.

Canada’s Food Guide Snapshot

The new (2019) version of Canada’s Food Guide.

Eat Well Plate

The Eat Well Plate supplements Canada’s Food Guide and demonstrates food group proportions, encouraging the idea of making half of our plate vegetables and fruit.

Foodland Ontario

A great resource to provide informationon local and seasonal food.

Background Information for Educators

A Tool for Every Educator

Contact your School’s Public Health Nurse for a staff training.

A Tool for Every Educator resource, along with staff training, provides evidence based information to help you have a positive impact on student’s physical activity, healthy eating, body image and self-esteem. Tips in this resource focus on role modeling, teaching and creating a supportive school environment.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds – Healthy Eating Fact Sheet

A fact sheet on healthy eating created by the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds team at the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. This is an excellent resource to promote and educate about healthy eating.

Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy Elementary Teacher Resource Guide 2011

Resources to assist elementary teachers in teaching healthy eating by providing an overview of PPM 150, making connections between PPM 150 and the curriculum, identifying roles of teachers in creating a healthy nutrition environment, promoting health literacy in students and more.

OPHEA: Approaches to Teaching Healthy Living

A Guide for Secondary Educators.

Raising Healthy Eaters in the Classroom Handout (Secondary)

This resource shares information on creating a healthy eating environment that helps students foster positive relationships with food.

Grades 9–12 Teaching Tools

BrightBites©

BrightBites© breaks school nutrition down into fun, easy badges. Entire schools (elementary and secondary) or individual classes/groups can sign up as teams. By earning badges, teams are listed on the BrightBites© Hall of Fame and receive recognition on social media. Teachers and other school leaders can use free  BrightBites© resources to guide their teams every step of the way. BrightBites© is a fun, modern way to boost student well-being – one bite at a time. The BrightBites Badge Checker can be used to help you choose which badge to work on next!

BrightBites© is written and maintained by Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH) members.

Canada’s Food Guide Snapshot

The new (2019) version of Canada’s Food Guide.

Eat Well Plate

The Eat Well Plate supplements Canada’s Food Guide and demonstrates food group proportions, encouraging the idea of making half of our plate vegetables and fruit.

Foodland Ontario

A great resource to provide information on local and seasonal food.

BrightBites©

This comprehensive program encourages a healthy nutrition environment within a school, covering topics such as promoting water as the drink of choice, learning about what influences our food  choices, ideas for healthy fundraisers, school celebrations and special events, gardening at school, tips for serving healthy breakfast, snacks, and lunches, and much more. BrightBites© can be used in the classroom, as an entire school, and with school teams, clubs and groups. The BrightBites Badge Checker can be used to help you choose which badge to work on next!

Unlock Food: Success Stories

Here you can read about some success stories, from schools across Ontario that have created a healthier nutrition environment.

Unlock Food: Ideas to Support Healthy Eating at School

Here you will find a variety of articles related to nutrition and food in schools, such as healthy ideas for fundraising at school.

Student Nutrition Programs (SNPs)

These programs are funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and through fundraising at the school level. These are universal programs that are meant to benefit all students.

FoodLiteracy.ca

Here you will find resources and a framework for food literacy.

Food Insecurity

If you are concerned about families and students not having income to eat well, visit our Health Equity page to learn more.

foodcoreLGL’s School Toolkit

This toolkit was developed with input from educators, students and community supporters. It is available in English and French. Use the ideas and resources to bring together curricula, local food, food literacy, and community engagement. Use it too to illustrate the terrific food-related projects and lessons already going on in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties’ schools.

The Food Charter for the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville and Lanark County recognizes that “Everyone has the right to food. Food contributes to physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. The food system includes everything from growing food, to processing, storing, transporting, selling, buying, preparing, eating food and managing food waste. From producers to eaters – we are all part of the food system.”

PPM 150

The purpose of this memorandum is to set out nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in publicly funded elementary and secondary schools in Ontario.

Food Safety at School

Resources

  • Food Safety Within School Kitchens: This fact sheet can help you determine what type of food preparation and service you can do from your school kitchen.
  • Food Safety Considerations for School Gardens: There are many benefits that everyone can experience from participating in a gardening project at school. This fact sheet outlines some food safety considerations to address to ensure the food your garden produces is safe.
  • Making Your School Barbecue Safe: This fact sheet outlines food safety tips to help ensure the food you serve to students, staff and visitors is safe.
  • 4 Steps to Food Safety: This poster outlines the four basic steps to being food safe.
  • Produce Safety Poster: This poster outlines tips to prevent food borne illness from produce.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds (JK–12)

Contact your School’s Public Health Nurse for more information. Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds focuses on empowering children and youth; promoting health, not weight; being a positive role model through words and actions; promoting healthy eating and physical activity in a positive way; and providing encouragement and opportunities for all students. The Health Unit can support schools with promoting a positive body image and self-esteem by:

  • In-servicing parents and school staff on effective ways to address topic areas related to body image and self-esteem including: media literacy, healthy eating, physical activity, healthy bodies and eating disorders.

Resources available:

Clever Replies to Damaging Remarks

Have you ever walked into a room and a colleague, parent, community partner, or student makes a comment about someone’s body, physical activity, or food? This resource provides ideas on how to respond in a positive way.

Triple P Parenting

A positive parenting program that gives parents simple tips to help manage the big and small problems of family life. Triple P Parenting can help with parenting questions from 0–16 years of age around topics such as sleep, self-esteem, not listening, aggression, family conflict – and many more! For support in Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, call 1-800-660-5853 and ask about Triple P or visit www.triplep-parenting.ca.

A Tool for Parenting Children and A Tool for Parenting Teens

These resources provide evidence based information to help parents have a positive impact on their child’s or teen’s physical activity, healthy eating, body image and self-esteem. Tips in these resources address how to use language, behaviour and role modeling to create a home environment that supports positive Healthy Behaviour. Consider contacting your School’s Public Health Nurse to set up a parent training.

Nutri-eSTEP®

Nutri-eSTEP® is a nutrition screening tool for toddlers (18–35 months) and preschoolers (3–5 years). It’s a no-cost questionnaire that looks at children’s eating, physical activity and screen time habits to identify what is going well and what areas could be improved. NutriSTEP® offers resources and tools for the whole family on a variety of topics, including meal planning, cooking, healthy growth, feeding and mealtime challenges, grocery shopping, among others. For more information please check out Nutri-eSTEP® Flyer.

What’s for Lunch? (Elementary Version)

Provides tips for packing a healthy school lunch.

What’s for Lunch? (Secondary Version)

Provides tips for packing a healthy school lunch.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds – Healthy Eating Fact Sheet

A fact sheet on healthy eating created by the Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds team at the Health Unit. This is an excellent resource to promote and educate about healthy eating.

Pack a Safe Lunch for your Kids

This fact sheet outlines the four basic food safety principles that can help you prepare safe meals for your family.

For more information, visit our Healthy Eating and Food Safety web pages.