School Nutrition Policy
Children spend a large portion of their day in daycare or at school. They have access to food served through vending machines, snack and lunch programs and cafeterias. One way to help children make better food choices is to ensure that healthy options are available in the school or daycare setting. Dietitians work closely with provincial governments, the school community and others. Together they shape policies in schools aimed at the healthy growth of children.
Dietitians support healthy nutrition for children in daycares and schools as a component of health-promoting schools. We believe that modelling healthy food habits at school and in childcare settings and teaching children how to plan, shop and prepare healthy foods can affect life-long eating habits.
Dietitians have helped shape and implement school nutrition policies across the country. Some examples include:
The Ontario School and Beverage Policy was released in 2010. The Nutrition Standards were developed by a group of registered dietitians from various sectors: public health, food service industry and government ministries. Additional resources to support implementation are available from the Ontario Government and EatRightOntario websites.
BC released Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools in 2005. Dietitians provided input into the development of the Guidelines. Dietitians led a project to help schools implement the guidelines. The project included:
Dietitians of Canada supported the development of the Province of Manitoba's School Nutrition Handbook. The Handbook was designed to provide guidance for schools to create sound nutrition policies and guidelines.
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