A healthy school nutrition environment exists when schools promote healthy eating through both words and actions. Delivering and modeling consistent messages about nutrition and the food environment ensures that students get the same information about healthy eating whether they are selling items to raise funds, purchasing a snack in the school, or learning in the classroom.
Canada's Food Guide
- Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide – Outlines a healthy pattern of eating for Canadians based on age and gender.
- Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide: A Guide for Educators and Communicators – Information, tools, and key messages to emphasize when teaching Canada's Food Guide.
Promoting Positive Body Image
Educators play a role in providing consistent messages to promote positive body image. Words and actions related to body shape and size that are thought to be helpful may have unintended effects. When children and youth feel good about themselves and their bodies, they are more likely to adopt healthy behaviours like eating well and being active.
Resources and Supports:
- Healthy Bodies - Eat Well, be Active, and Feel Good about Yourself – An overview of key messages related to healthy eating, physical activity, and self esteem.
- National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) – A non-profit organization with resources on eating disorders and body image.
- Reflections on Body Image: The ETFO Body Image Project – An overview of body image in terms of child development and a list of key resources.
P/PM 150 School Food and Beverage Policy
The Ministry of Education issued the School Food and Beverage Policy in 2011. Supporting Tools:
Healthy School Environment
- Foundations for a Healthy School - A resource for healthy school planning from the Ministry of Education, with sample strategies and activities related to healthy eating.
- Guide to School Gardens – Information to create and sustain a school garden, including curriculum connections and resources.
- Fresh from the Farm – Now available in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, this program offers a healthy alternative to traditional fundraising. Students can sell Ontario-grown produce to raise funds while promoting healthy eating habits.
- Bake it Up! – Give your next bake sale a healthy makeover with tasty recipes that comply with the PPM150 Sell Most criteria.
- Bright Bites – Resources and activities to help schools transform their food and nutrition environment – one bite at a time. School teams can earn badges and compete with other Ontario schools in the Hall of Fame.
- Teach Nutrition – Created by Registered Dietitians for Ontario teachers and sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Canada, this website offers information, programs, and resources on various food and nutrition topics for elementary and secondary educators.
- Ophea Teaching Tools – Access lesson plans, supplements, and activities to teacher healthy, active living in compliance with the Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum.
- Eat Well and Be Active Educational Toolkit – A poster, activity plans, and images to facilitate teaching about healthy eating and physical activity.
- My Food Guide – An interactive tool that allows students to select their favourite types of food from each food group to create a personalized, printable Food Guide.
- Healthy Kids Quest – A series of free, downloadable modules on healthy eating and physical activity designed for grade 1-3 classes across Canada.
Student Nutrition Supports
Addressing Hungry Students
When teaching about nutrition, it is important to recognize that students may not have access to healthy food or control over the food choices available to them. While it is important to encourage students to bring healthy lunches and snacks to school, they should not feel penalized or stigmatized if they are unable to do so.
Resources and Supports:
- Food Access Guide – Information on free and low cost food and meal programs in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties including emergency food services, food box programs, and community gardens.
- Food For Learning – The lead agency for Student Nutrition Programs, providing financial and organizational support for schools offering meals and/or snack programs for students.
- Popular Fact Sheets for Parents
- At-A-Glance Guide to Ontario's School Food and Beverage Policy – An overview of PPM 150 for parents and students.
- Healthy Kids Community Challenge – A community based program that aims to promote the health and well-being of children in Hastings and Prince Edward counties through physical activity, healthy eating, and other healthy habits.
General Nutrition Support
- Eat Right Ontario – This free service allows Ontario residents to contact a Registered Dietitian with nutrition questions. Call toll-free at 1-877-510-5102 or visit the ERO website.
- Healthy Life Line - To speak to a dietitian from Hastings Prince Edward Public Health about your school's nutrition environment, call the Healthy Life Line at 613-966-5500, ext. 610 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 610. TTY: 711 or 1-800-267-6511.