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Ministry’s School Food and Beverage Policy encourages healthy eating

The Ministry of Education’s School Food and Beverage Policy encourages students to make healthier choices by removing less-healthy food and beverage options from schools. All food and beverages offered for sale in publicly funded schools in Ontario must meet the nutrition standards set out in the policy. The nutrition standards are based on the principles of healthy eating outlined in Canada’s Food Guide.

It’s important for you to know that the policy does not apply to food and beverages brought from home—only food and beverages that are sold to students at school. This policy creates a good opportunity to explore healthier food options as a family.

Research shows that children who eat healthy are more attentive, ready to learn and more likely to be successful in school.

Nutritious lunches help children learn

Use Canada’s Food Guide to help your child get the nutrients and energy needed to have a successful school day.

·         Try to give your child some choice about what to take for lunch. If possible, get your child involved in preparing meals.

·         Give your child a variety of healthy choices. Keeping your child interested in lunch is the first step to making sure it is eaten.

·         Make the food easy to eat. If it will take your child a few minutes to unwrap a sandwich, it  may be skipped.

·         Resist the temptation to routinely send sweets, pop, chips and cookies in your child's lunch. Save treats for special occasions.

·         Try to avoid sending fast food or pre-packaged, convenience lunches, which are often high in salt and fat.

·         Do your best to role model healthy eating behaviours for your family.  It may be hard, but it’s worth it.

To speak to a registered dietitian about healthy food choices, call EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-5102.

For more information about the policy, visit http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/healthyschools/policy.html. If you have questions about how we are implementing the School Food and Beverage Policy, please call the school.