Healthy children learn better. When kids have good eating habits and consume a healthy diet they are better prepared to learn.
Educators can positively influence students’ eating habits by using a positive and inclusive approach. This can include focusing on the importance of food to provide energy to learn, grow and be active; role modelling healthy eating habits; using non-food rewards; and reinforcing that eating looks different for everyone.
The following resources can be used by teachers in the classroom or to support school initiatives. For questions, contact Client and Community Support at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006 or email email@example.com.
School Events & Challenges
Great Big Crunch is a fun event that brings your school together to celebrate healthy foods and raises awareness about the need for a universal healthy foods program for Canada. This Canada-wide event takes place every March.
You’re the Chef (YTC) is a 6-week food skills program that develops the skills and confidence for students (Grades 5-8) to prepare tasty recipes emphasizing fruits and vegetables. Visit the School Programs page for more information.
BrightBites is a program that promotes school nutrition through fun and simple activities for students in the classroom or school-wide while earning digital badges. Each badge includes simple steps and free resources. Activities include: healthy fundraising; learning food skills; encouraging healthy beverage choices, catered lunches and celebrations.
Food and Friends is a program that offers breakfast, snack, and lunch programs in schools throughout Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph, these programs promote healthy eating and build social skills in an inclusive environment.
Fresh from the Farm supports healthy fundraising in schools by selling Ontario-grown fruits and vegetables. It is an opportunity to teach students about food, and agriculture. Forty percent of total sales goes directly to schools and 50 percent goes to local farmers.
Canada’s Food Guide provides information about Canada’s food guide, eating recommendations, recipes, tips, and other resources. Resources and a downloadable copy of the food guide are available, or you can order hard copies and posters as well.
Food is Science provides educator resources to support learning and teaching about food and food systems for Grades 3-9. Built to support the new food literacy expectations in Ontario’s Science and Technology curriculum. Includes lesson plans, learning videos, readings, and student resources.
Hands on Food is a food literacy curriculum for Grades 4-7 but can be adapted for Grades JK-12. Includes lesson plan and recipes that focus on local food and a sustainable food system.
Ophea’s Ideas for Action provides easy-to-use activities on the topics of healthy eating, mental health and physical activity that can be modified for elementary or secondary students and their leaders.
Ontario Edible Education Network provides resources to encourage children and youth to eat, grow, cook, celebrate and learn about local and sustainable food.
The Healthy Respectful Lunchroom is a program for Grades 1-3. Dietitian Gwen engages students about what’s in their lunchboxes, what others bring, being open to different or unfamiliar foods and more. Includes presentations, worksheets and discussion guides. A live-virtual class visit with a dietitian will also be available.
UnlockFood.ca has information, recipes, videos and resources on helping children develop a healthy relationship with food. Search ‘School Health’ to get started.
Ontario Dietitians in Public Health (ODPH)
ODPH members are Registered Dietitians working in the Ontario public health system. ODPH members work collaboratively to create resources that can be used by educators to nurture healthy eating in students.
- Nutrition and Mental Well-being in School-Aged Children and Youth Infographic (English PDF) and (French PDF)
- Evidence on Nutrition and Mental Well-being in School-Aged Children and Youth (English PDF)
- Mental Health and Weight Bias in Schools (English PDF) and (French PDF)
- Nurturing Health Eaters in Elementary Schools (English PDF) and (French PDF)
- Nurturing Health Eaters in Secondary Schools (English PDF) and (French PDF)