Children spend a large portion of their day in daycare or at school where they may 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 and daycare settings. Dietitians work closely with provincial governments and the school community to shape policies aimed at promoting and protecting 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:
ANAPHYLAXIS IN SCHOOLS & OTHER SETTINGS, 3RD EDITION REVISED
Containing updated information on the effective management and treatment of anaphylaxis in school communities, this resource includes the input of individuals from more than 15 national (including Dietitians of Canada) and provincial health and education and training organizations.
Available in downloadable pdf format in English and French, and flip-book versions at www.csaci.ca
PROVINCIAL AND TERRITORIAL GUIDANCE DOCUMENT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF NUTRIENT CRITERIA FOR FOODS AND BEVERAGES IN SCHOOLS
This technical document was prepared by the Federal, Provincial, Territorial Group on Nutrition Working Group on Improving the Consistency of School Food and Beverage Criteria (Working Group). The document is intended to:
- guide and support provinces and territories as they develop and revise their guidelines over time; and
- facilitate the food industry to develop or reformulate food and beverage products that use this nutrient criteria for procurement by jurisdictions school nutrition guidelines and policies.
To access a copy of the document, email PT-Champion-SNG@gov.ab.ca.
British Columbia 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:
The guide Healthy Foods for my School was developed in by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Public Health Nutritionists of Saskatchewan Working Group.
Moving Forward with School Nutrition Guidelines (2015) is designed to assist schools making plans to improve school nutrition environments - it replaces the 2006 Handbook. The current Guidelines are divided into six areas of focus: School Environment; Breakfast, Snack and Lunch Programs; Cafeteria; Canteen and Vending; Sporting Events; Special Lunch Days. For more information, call the Manitoba Healthy Food in Schools Dietitian at 1-888-547-0535 (toll free) or visit the Manitoba Healthy Food in Schools website .
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.
DC co-signed an open letter to support towns that wish to implement stricter planning standards around schools in order to help them build healthy living environments for their citizens.
NB’s Policy 711 and associated appendices outline Food and Beverage Requirements for meals and A La Carte items. The New Brunswick Dietitians in Action (NBDiA) group and other NB dietitians contributed to the development of the policy and advocate for implementation supports for schools.