Healthy Eating

Healthy children and youth are in a position to be better learners. When children and youth eat right, they can improve their memory and their ability to concentrate. Eating well also supports healthy growth and encourages healthy behaviours that can be maintained throughout adulthood.

Schools can play a central role in promoting the health of young people, not only academically, but also by ensuring an environment that supports healthy eating.

Resources for healthy eating

See ideas and resources below that support healthy eating:

  • Use Canadian resources  such as Canada’s Food Guide to guide healthy eating classroom lessons.
  • Use TeachNutrition online programs and resources created by registered dietitians to easily integrate healthy eating into the FDK to grade 12 Ontario curriculum.
  • Attend a free Ontario TeachNutrition teacher workshop to receive a curriculum related resource kit for FDK to grade 8.
  • Use BrightBites to find nutrition education resources from Ontario dietitians.
  • Use the Hamilton Edible Education Guide for resources and field trips about food and food literacy.
  • Use the Sip Smart! ™ Ontario Teacher Resource Guide  to learn how to include key messages on making healthy drink choices in classroom teaching.
  • Access the Water at School Toolkit to promote water as the beverage of choice at school.
  • Speak with a Registered Dietitian from EatRight Ontario over speakerphone in the classroom to answer students’ nutrition questions.
  • Use the Paint Your Plate! Vegetable and Fruit Action Guide to promote vegetable and fruit consumption through curriculum-based lesson plans for FDK to grade 8.
  • Use the online food safety teaching guides, activities and games from the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Information for students in FDK to grade 7.
  • Assess your school’s healthy eating environment, by completing the Healthy School Planner.
  • Create a school policy where achievement and success are recognized with non-food rewards and earn an It’s An Honour Rewards and Incentives badge from BrightBites.
  • Host classroom celebrations that align with healthy eating classroom lessons.
  • Make sure all classroom lessons and activities are supportive of healthy eating and earn a Zesty Lessons badge from BrightBites.
  • Support  students to assess the school’s healthy eating environment by completing the Healthy School Planner.
  • Teach students about photovoice (PDF, 7 MB) and encourage them to use it to express their thoughts on their school food culture, and what helps or hinders healthy eating.
  • Help students plan a school-wide event to learn about and taste local vegetables; get ideas and recipes from FoodLand Ontario.
  • Help students transition from sugary drinks to plain water by experimenting with flavoured water – start by using SipSmart!™ Ontario flavoured water recipes.

Contact a Public Health Dietitian or Public Health Nurse by email for help and advice on healthy eating in schools.

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