Healthy Eating at School

Healthy eating supports children to learn well, eat well, and live well. Schools can positively influence children’s eating attitudes and behaviours and help lay the foundation for a healthy relationship with food. 

Students do best when they have role models, and when foods offered both in and outside classrooms are in line with healthy eating messages.

Support Healthy Food Environments in Schools

How Can Schools Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice?

The Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC were developed to support schools with role modeling healthy eating in the classroom, in fundraisers, and at special events.

Additional Resources

Food Sales

Special Events

Fundraisers

Allergies

Additional Tips to Consider:

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Build a School Food Program: Tips, Tools, and Examples

Consider the following questions when building your school food program:

  • Why is this program a good fit for our school?
  • How can we provide students with hands-on food experiences, rather than a focus on nutrition information?
  • What links can be made with activities in the classroom, garden, kitchen or community?
  • How can we create a supportive environment by improving access to healthy foods at school?
  • In what ways can we honour the social, traditional and cultural values of harvesting, preparing, and eating food?
  • What opportunities exist to partner with local farmers, food distributors, or community members to bring local food and knowledge into our school?

School Food Programs: Tools and Examples

Do you have an idea for a food program or initiative at your school? See Northern Health’s IMAGINE Community Granting for funding opportunities or to learn about other local initiatives.

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Teach About Food and Nutrition: Key Messages and Lesson Plans

Key Messages for Educators

  • Education around food and nutrition should focus on experiences that allow students to explore a variety of foods and build their comfort with choosing, growing and preparing foods.
  • Children do not need to know about nutrients (calories, fat, vitamins, etc.), food labelling, or classifying foods as “healthy” and “unhealthy”. This information is too abstract for young children, encourages black-and-white thinking, and does not help them feel positive about eating.
  • Teach children to listen to internal cues of hunger, fullness, and satiety (e.g. what does your tummy say?), as opposed to external cues (e.g. portion size), when deciding how much to eat.
  • Teach children how to spot nutrition fads and find good sources for nutrition advice.
  • Role model talking about food in a neutral, non-judgemental manner.
  • Consider that growing children have different nutritional needs (including requirements for calories, calcium and dietary fat), compared to adults.
  • Include weight and size discrimination when talking about bullying.
  • Consider curriculum links with school nutrition programs such as Farm to School BC, or take a trip to a local farm, forest, or shore.
  • Connect students with an Elder or a farmer to learn about growing, harvesting, and preparing local or traditional foods.

Lesson Plans and Food Activities

These lesson plans and activities are based on the new BC curriculum.

Healthy Eating

Body Image and Media Literacy

Local, Traditional and Sustainable Food Systems

Hands-on Food Activities

Additional Resources

Teacher Workshops

Supporting Parents at Home

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