Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating by t3293888

VIEWS: 124 PAGES: 30

									              Policies to

Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   79
           SECTION 4
           Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Legislative Overview

          Policies to promote healthy eating                    Canadian Nutrition
          include:                                              Legislation
          • Providing dietary guidance;                         •    Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy
          • Increasing healthy food                                  Eating is the country’s dietary
              choices/reducing unhealthy food                        guidance policy. The majority of
              choices in daycares, school and                        nutrition resources and programs
              worksite cafeterias (including                         developed in Canada use this to
              food access);                                          guide the healthy eating content.
          • Reducing the promotion/                             •    Health Canada is working to
              advertising of unhealthy food                          improve nutrition information on
              choices to children;                                   pre-packaged food labels. This
          • Increasing tax on non-nutritious                         includes nutrition labeling,
              snacks;                                                nutrient content claims, and diet-
          • Modifying pricing policies to                            related health claims. The
              promote healthy food choices;                          proposed regulations will provide
          • Regulating contractual                                   the consumer with more and
              requirements for food services;                        better information to help make
          • Regulating the training of food                          informed food choices. Look for
              service personnel;                                     this new policy to be in place later
          • Mandating nutrition education to                         this year.
          • Reimbursing for nutrition
              counselling; and                                  Ontario Nutrition
          • Regulating nutrition information                    Legislation
              (i.e., labeling, health claims,                   •    The Day Nurseries Act contains
              point-of-purchase information).                        standards about nutrition that
               (Adapted from: Glanz, Lankenau,                       licensed day care facilities must
             Foerster, Temple, Mullis & Schmid,                      meet.

          The responsibility for nutrition policy
          cuts across many sectors, including
          health, agriculture, commerce,
          education and welfare.

            Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002    80
           SECTION 4
           Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Literature Resources

          Community at Large                                   The Stanford Nutrition Action
                                                               Program: a dietary fat intervention
          Exploring a fiscal food policy: the                  for low-literacy adults.
          case of diet and ischaemic heart                     Howard-Pitney, B., Winkleby, M.A.,
          disease.                                             Albright, C.L., Bruce, B. & Fortmann,
          Marshall, T. (2000). BMJ, 320(7230),                 S.P. (1997). American Journal of
          301-305.                                             Public Health, 87(12), 1971-1976.
          • Discussion of fiscal ways that                     • Found tailored curriculum
              low-income people could be                            (SNAP) to be more effective than
              encouraged to eat healthier diets.                    a general one in a group of low-
                                                                    literacy, low-income people.
          Progress is dietary behaviour
          change.                                              Environmental and policy
          Glanz, K. (1999). American Journal of                approaches to cardiovascular
          Health Promotion, 14(2), 112-117.                    disease prevention through
          • Author surveys current state of                    nutrition: opportunities for state
              nutrition policy and highlights the              and local action.
              need for upstream interventions,                 Glanz, K., Lankenau, B., Foerster, S.,
              particularly multi-component,                    Temple, S., Mullis, R., Schmid, T.
              community-based policy trials.                   (1995). Health Education Quarterly,
                                                               22(4), 512-527.
          Nutrition policies in Western                        • Overview of environmental
          Europe: national policies in                             change and policy approaches to
          Belgium, the Netherlands, France,                        promote healthy eating.
          Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
          James, W.P.T., Ralph, A. & Bellizzi,
          M. (1997). Nutrition Reviews, 55(11),                Worksite
          • Looks at how national nutrition                    Work-site cholesterol screening and
              policies in 5 western European                   dietary interventions: The Staff
              countries affected changes in the                Healthy Heart Project.
              population.                                      Barrett, A., Reznik, R., Irwig, L.,
                                                               Simpson, J.M., Oldenburg, B.,
          Nutrition and food policy in                         Horvath, J., & Sullivan, D. (1994).
          Norway: Effects on reduction of                      American Journal of Public Health,
          coronary heart disease.                              84(5), 779-782.
          Norum, K.R., Johansson, D.L., Botten,                • Results of voluntary cholesterol
          G., Bjorneboe, G.E.A. & Oshaug, A.                       screening program offered in six
          (1997). Nutrition Reviews, 55(11),                       Australian hospitals found no
          S32-S39.                                                 reduction in cholesterol levels.
          • Description of the progress and                        Authors attribute the findings to
              effects of national nutrition                        the low participation rate.
              policies in Norway.

           Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   81
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Guidelines for school health
programs to promote lifelong
healthy eating.
Centers for Disease Control. (1996).
MMWR, 45(RR-9), 1-33.
• Contains a detailed description of
    the essential contents of a healthy
    food policy for schools.

Outcomes of a field trial to improve
children’s dietary patterns and
physical activity: The Child and
Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular
Luepker, R., Perry, C.L., McKinlay,
S.M., Nader, P.R., Parcel, G.S., Stone,
E.J., Webber, L.S., Elder, J.P.,
Feldman, H.A., Johnson, C.C., Kelder,
S.H. & Wu, M. (1996). (CATCH).
JAMA, 275(10), 768-776.
• Reports on the experience of a 3-
     year study looking at a
     comprehensive healthy eating and
     physical activity school-based
     approach with students in grade 3.
• Authors conclude that the policies
     and practices of a school can be
     changed without substantial new
     school resources and time.

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   82
             SECTION 4
             Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Web Resources

         Canadian Web Sites                                      http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/gui
                                                                 delines/nutraag.htm (Centre for
         http://www.hc-                                          Disease Control)
         sc.gc.ca/hppb/nutrition/labels/e_policy                 • Users can access the document
         .html (Health Canada)                                        “Guidelines for School and
         • This section of the Health Canada                          Community Health Programs
              web site is dedicated to providing                      Promoting Lifelong Healthy
              information about the newly                             Eating”
              proposed regulatory amendments                     • The Guidelines document
              for nutrition labelling, nutrient                       contains guidelines to help
              content claims, and diet-related                        schools implement effective
              health claims.                                          policies and educational programs
         • Information about the history to                           to promote healthy eating.
              the amendments and illustrations
              of the new formats can also be                     http://www.commercialfree.org/
              accessed from this site.                           (Center for Commercial-Free
         http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hppb/nutrition/                  • The site has suggestions for ways
         (Health Canada)                                              that schools can fight
         • Office of Nutrition Policy and                             commercialism and examples of
              Promotion area of the Health                            policies that communities can use
              Canada site.                                            to keep their school free from
         •     Provides users with access to                     • The Centre for Commercial-Free
               Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy                         Education provides support to
               Eating, Dietary Reference Intakes,                     students, parents, teachers and
               and Healthy Weights information.                       other concerned citizens in the
                                                                      U.S. to keep their schools
                                                                      commercial-free and community-
         American Web Sites                                           controlled.

         http://www.asfsa.org/ (American
         School Food Service Association)
         • There is a lot of information that
              users can access by clicking on
              the “Child Nutrition” button.
              “Research” and “Foodservice
              Operations” information contains
              examples of policies and
              programs to reference when
              working with schools.
         • The American School Food
              Service Association works to
              increase the availability, quality
              and acceptance of school nutrition
              programs throughout the U.S.

             Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   83
                             SECTION 4
                             Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Summary of Policy Examples
                           To Encourage Healthy Eating

  Behaviour       Ex.   Setting       Policy Title          Description              Source                Comments
   Change         No.
 Healthy Eating    1    Worksite    Sample                Sample policy         Niagara Heart          Additional
                                    Nutrition             for workplaces        Health,                information
                                    Worksite Policy       to adapt.             St. Catharines,        included at the end
                                                                                Ontario                of the policy.
 Healthy Eating    2    Worksite    Sample Healthy        Sample policy         Health Services        Additional
                                    Eating Policy         for workplaces        Department of          information
                                                          to adapt.             the Regional           included at the end
                                                                                Municipality of        of the policy.
                                                                                York,                  Contact
                                                                                Newmarket,             information
                                                                                Ontario                provided.

 Healthy Eating    3    Worksite    Healthy Eating        Actual Health         Perth District         Additional
                                    & Food                Unit policy. The      Health Unit,           information
                                    Handling              Health Unit is        Stratford,             included at the end
                                    Guidelines            still using this      Ontario                of the policy.
                                                          policy.                                      Contact
 Healthy Eating    4    Worksite    Healthy Eating        Actual policy         City of Hamilton       Additional
                                    Guidelines for        followed by all       Social and             information
                                    Corporate             of the municipal      Public Health          included at the end
                                    Business and          departments.          Services               of the policy.
                                    Educational           This policy is        Department,            Contact
                                    Functions             still being used.     Hamilton,              information
                                                                                Ontario                provided.

 Healthy Eating    5    School      Food &                Standard              Avon Maitland          No additional
                                    Nutrition             operating             District School        information
                                    Standard              procedure.            Board, Seaforth,       available about the
                                    Operating                                   Ontario                policy.
                                    Procedure                                                          Contact

                             Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002     84
                            SECTION 4
                            Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

 Behaviour       Ex.   Setting       Policy Title          Description              Source                Comments
  Change         No.
Healthy Eating    6    School      Policy                Actual policy for     Toronto District       Additional
                                   Regarding             the Board. This       School Board,          information
                                   Nutrition             policy is still       Toronto, Ontario       included at the end
                                   Foundation            being used.                                  of the policy.
Healthy Eating    7    School      Sample Policy         Sample policy         National               No additional
                                   to Encourage          for schools to        Association of         information
                                   Healthy Eating        adapt.                State Boards of        available about the
                                                                               Education              policy.
Healthy Eating    8    School      Position              Position              Massachusetts          No additional
                                   Statement on          statement about       School Nutrition       information
                                   Nutrition             school nutrition      Task Force             available about the
                                   Programs and          programs                                     policy.
                                   Services in           (including a
                                   Schools               preamble about
                                                         the effect of
                                                         nutrition on
                                                         development and
                                                         readiness to
Healthy Eating    9    School      School Canteen        Actual policy for     Westfield Park         No additional
                                   Policy                the food service      Primary School,        information
                                                         providers to          Western                available about the
                                                         follow.               Australia              policy.

                            Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002     85
                       SECTION 4
                       Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

 Worksite Policy Examples
                      Example Number 1

                      Sample Nutrition Worksite Policy – Niagara Heart Health

                      Company “X” Food Service Policy:

                      In order to contribute to the health and well-being of employees, “X” wishes to
                      encourage the consumption of healthful foods during the work day by providing the

                          1.   A “Treat Yourself Right” healthy choice lunch entrée will be available daily in
                               the cafeteria. These entrees will be promoted in the “Monday X” newsletter.
                               Fat, dietary fibre, protein, carbohydrate, and sodium content as well as energy
                               values will be highlighted.
                          2.   Healthy food choices will be available in vending machines located throughout
                               the building.
                          3.   Lower fat and higher fibre options will be available in the cafeteria and at any
                               business function where food is served.

                      Source: Irene Krause, RD, Nutrition Consultant, Regional Niagara Public Health
                      Department. Adapted from: Healthy, Wealthy and Wise (Wellness Councils of America,
                      3rd Ed., 1993).

                                                  Reprinted with permission from the Niagara Heart Health
                         For more information contact the Workplace Team, Regional Niagara Public Health
                                       Department (Tel. 905-688-3762) or Irene Krause (Tel. 905-646-6767)

Details               Additional Information Obtained from the Contact

 Source: Niagara      Effect of the Sample Policy
 Heart Health, St.    • This is a tool used by the health department when working with workplaces.
 Catharines,          • The sample provides information and a process for workplace committees who are
 Ontario                  trying to develop their policy.

 Sample Policy        Challenges in Developing
                      • It was important to get expert advice from a nutritionist in the development of this
 Additional              sample.
 included at the
 end of the policy.
 Workplace Team,
 Regional Niagara
 Public Health
 Department or
 Irene Krause

                       Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   86
                         SECTION 4
                         Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

                        Example Number 2

                        Sample Healthy Eating Policy of the “Healthy Policy=Healthy
                        Profits Manual”
                        The following policy will contribute to promoting the health and well-being of all
                        employees and increasing awareness of the relation between nutrition and health:

                        1.     Healthy food and beverage choices (i.e., foods and beverages which have moderate
                               or reduced levels of fat, sodium and sugar, and higher levels of dietary fibre) will be
                               available daily in the cafeteria, vending machines throughout the building and at
                               any business meeting/function where food is served. These choices will be
                               available to employees working all shifts.
                        2.     Healthy food and beverage choices will be available at comparable or lower cost
                               than other choices.
                        3.     Employees will have access to an eating area that is clean and attractive, to
                               encourage employees to eat away from their workspace. The eating area will also
                               be equipped with a refrigerator and microwave oven.
                        4.     Employees will have frequent access to educational sessions/programs and
                               resources on healthy eating.

                        Source: Health Services Department of The Regional Municipality of York. (2000).
                        “Healthy Policy=Healthy Profits Manual”.

                               Adapted and reprinted with the permission of the Health Services Department of The
                                                                                    Regional Municipality of York

                                                 For more information contact the Health Connection Phone Line
                                                                                                Tel. 905-895-8004
 Source: Health
   Department of        Additional Information Obtained from the Contact
   The Regional
   Municipality of      Comments from the Contact
   York,                • There were no challenges when developing the sample policy.
   Newmarket,           • This sample was developed and distributed in 2001. To date, there has been no
   Ontario                 response from any worksites for follow-up.
   Sample Policy

   included at the
   end of the policy.

   Contact: Health
   Phone Line

                             Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   87
                       SECTION 4
                       Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

                      Example Number 3

                      Healthy Eating and Food Handling Guidelines

                      1.     Nutritious and safe food and beverage choices shall be provided at all work-related
                             meetings, workshops and other events where food and/or beverages are served.
                      2.     The Health Unit is committed to five principles:
                                  • Healthy eating: Healthy eating incorporates the concepts outlined in
                                       Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. It also includes the belief that all
                                       foods can be part of a healthy diet.
                                  • Safe food handling practices: High standards of food preparation and
                                       service ensure access to safe food.
                                  • Being environmentally friendly: Environmentally friendly means recycling
                                       and minimizing waste from food, food packaging and disposable dishes.
                                  • Promoting Ontario products: By choosing Ontario products, we support
                                       Ontario’s food and agriculture industries.
                                  • Being fiscally accountable: Fiscal accountability means the best
                                       responsible price to support healthy eating.
                      3.     All caterers shall be booked in consultation with the Infectious Disease department.
                      4.     When planning meetings, workshops or other events where food and/or beverages
                             are going to be served, staff are encouraged to use the Practical Suggestions for
                             Apply Healthy Eating Guidelines. Inquiries about special dietary requirements or
                             restrictions should be made in advance when possible so appropriate arrangements
                             can be made for participants. For large groups, a vegetarian choice should be
                             automatically provided. As well, the choices should include fruit as an alternative
                             dessert and fruit juice and decaffeinated coffee as an alterative to coffee.
                      5.     Nutrition staff and inspectors will assist with food arrangements when requested.

                      Source: Perth District Health Unit, Board of Health Policy Manual. (Rev. Dec. 21,


                                                  Reprinted with permission from the Perth District Health Unit
 Source: Perth                  For more information contact Tracy Allan-Koester, Director of Chronic Diseases
 District Health                                                                     Tel. 519-271-7600 ext 265
 Unit, Stratford,
                      Additional Information Obtained from the Contact
 Actual Policy
                      Recommended Parts to Include
 Additional           • Would recommend including all of the parts of the policy – all of the parts as
 Information             written have worked well.
 included at the
 end of the policy.   Implementation Challenges
                      • Fear of increasing costs and of appealing choices being taken away. The
 Contact:                philosophy of this food policy is that “all foods fit” and that less healthy foods
 Director of             would not be taken away but that healthy choices would be included. The policy
 Chronic Diseases        has in many cases decreased the expense of food, for example, water as a substitute
                         for coffee, use of local produce, use of healthy choices that are in season (e.g., a
                         basket of apples).
                           Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   88
    Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

•     Staff uneasiness about enforcing the policy after hours.

Enforcement Challenges
• Caterers unwilling to provide healthy choices outside of their usual menus

Additional Comments
• It was felt that as a health agency it was important to provide a role model.
• The policy is self enforcing.
• The Health Department provides free education and support about healthy eating on
   request to public, employees, food services and caterers.

    Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   89
                       SECTION 4
                       Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

                      Example Number 4

                      Healthy Eating Guidelines for Corporate Business and
                      Educational Functions
                      Healthy eating means more than dispensing good advice. We must also use public
                      policy to create an environment that supports healthy eating to making healthy choices
                      the easy choices. The Social and Public Health Services (SPHS) Division has developed
                      “Healthy Eating Guidelines for its Business and Education Functions” to demonstrate its
                      commitment to the importance of a healthy diet, safe food handling practices, being
                      environmentally friendly, promoting Ontario food products and being fiscally
                      accountable. The City of Hamiltion/Region of Hamilton-Wentworth subsequently
                      approved these guidelines for all corporate business and educational functions.

                      By developing “Healthy Eating Guidelines for its Business and Education Functions,”
                      the SPHS Division and the corporation can serve as a role model in the community for
                      workplace healthy eating guidelines. This is in keeping with the Chronic Disease
                      Prevention Standard of the Mandatory Health Programs and Services Guidelines and
                      Vision 2020, which has been adopted by Regional Council as its vision for the future of

                      Every individual who has reason to provide food and beverage for the purpose of City
                      of Hamilton/Region of Hamilton-Wentworth business and educational functions follows
                      the Healthy Eating Guidelines (ATTACHMENT 1) to ensure that nutritious and safe
                      food and beverage choices are provided.

                      The City of Hamilton and Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth believe that
                      nutritious and safe food and beverage choices should be provided at our business and
 Source: City of      educational functions. Our corporation is committed to five interrelated and
 Hamilton Social      fundamental principles:
 and Public Health    • Healthy eating: Healthy eating incorporates the concepts outlined in Canada’s
 Services Dept,            Food Guide to Healthy Eating. It includes the belief that all foods can be part of a
 Hamilton,                 healthy diet.
 Ontario              • Safe food handling practices: High standards of food preparation and service
 Actual Policy             ensures access to safe food.
                      • Being environmentally friendly: Environmentally friendly means minimizing waste
 Additional                from food, food packaging and disposable dishes and recycling.
 Information          • Promoting Ontario products: By choosing Ontario products, we support Ontario’s
 included at the           food and agriculture industries.
 end of the policy.   • Being fiscally accountable: Fiscal accountability means the best possible price
 Contact:                  (obtaining 2 verbal quotes) to support healthy eating, and ensuring that the premises
 Program                   offering food services complies with regulations as set out by the Environmental
 Manager                   Health Branch.
 Nutrition &
 Physical Activity    These principles embody the importance of the balance of economic, environmental,
                      and social/health factors in corporate decision-making. This is consistent with Vision
                       Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   90
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

2020, adopted by Regional Council as its’ vision for the future of Hamilton-Wentworth.

Practical suggestions for applying the principles outlined in the healthy eating
guidelines include the following areas:
• Caterer/food supplier
• Food safety
• Foods brought from home
• Preparation on-site
• Preparation and cleanup
• Donating unused food
• Main dishes
• Breakfast
• Sandwiches
• Salads/crudities
• Desserts/snacks
• Beverages
• Special considerations
• Minimize waste and recycle
• Smoke-free environment.

Source: Hamilton-Wentworth Social & Public Health Services Division Policy and
Procedure Manual, 03-20 (Rev. Aug. 11, 2000).

 Adapted from a publication produced by the City of Hamilton Social and Public Health
       Services Department. Distributed by the Heart Health Resource Centre and the
                                                           Nutrition Resource Centre
   For more information contact Lisa Taraba, Program Manager Nutrition & Physical
                                                                    Tel. 905-546-3630

Additional Information Obtained from the Contact

Effect of the policy
• Response to the policy has been positive.
• The policy was developed and used first at the Program level and then adopted by
    the Branch and Department levels and is currently being presented for adoption at
    the City of Hamilton Corporate level.

Enforcement Challenges
• It has been challenging to keep the policy from getting lost during periods of
   organizational change.
• It is important to have continuing education and information about the policy.

Plans for Revisions
• There are currently no immediate plans, however, if revisions occur the revisions
    would include more detail and examples about what healthy eating is and how it
    can be implemented in a cost effective manner.

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   91
                      SECTION 4
                      Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

 School Policy Examples
                     Example Number 5

                     FOOD AND NUTRITION, Standard Operating Procedure No. 08
                     Last revised: Dec. 1, 2000

                     1.0 PURPOSE(S):
                     1.1 To provide direction to principals, teachers, parent groups, students and volunteers
                         on the choice of foods for sale or distribution in our schools.
                     1.2 To enable students to make healthy food choices by providing and actively
                         promoting nutritious foods.
                     1.3 To encourage a positive attitude towards healthy eating.
                     1.4 To reinforce and support the nutrition education that is provided to students.
                     1.5 To promote and ensure the safe handling and preparation of food.
                     1.6 To promote and provide a safe environment for students with food allergies.

                     2.0 PROCEDURE(S):
                     2.1 General
                     Food is typically made available to student in schools in the following ways:
                     a) the sale of food, milk and other beverages on a regular basis, on special food days,
                          at sporting events;
                     b) the sale of food for fund-raising purposes;
                     c) the sale of food through vending machines;
                     d) the provision of food for classroom experiences, celebrations and snacks; and
                     e) the provision of food in school nutrition programs.
                     2.1.1 Making food available to students during the school day should enhance their
                             educational experience. It is our responsibility to teach students how to make
                             wise choices. Food items sold or distributed in schools teach by example every
                             day. This means that the foods offered need to reflect nutritional value, quality
                             and reasonable price. Providing nutritious choices delivers a message consistent
                             with nutrition teaching in the classroom. Schools should exercise caution when

Details                      offering sweets as rewards.
                     2.1.2 Decisions of the foods and beverages being made available to students should
                             reflect Canada’s Food Guide to healthy Eating to enable students to develop and
 Source: Avon
                             maintain healthy eating habits. Consideration should be given to:
 Maitland District
                             a) offering meals and snacks that provide foods from at least three of the four
 School Board,
                                  food groups;
 Seaforth, Ontario
                             b) providing a variety of foods;
 Standard                    c) providing whole grain cereals, breads, and other grain products;
 Operating                   d) providing dark green and orange vegetables and fruit;
 Procedure                   e) providing low fat dairy products and leaner means; and
                             f) using preparation methods that result in lower fat and salt content of foods.
 Contact:            2.1.3 Foods and beverages offered to students must be handled and prepared using safe
 Superintendent of           food handling practices. Steps must be taken to ensure that such practices are
 Education                   followed:
                             a) Everyone must wash his/her hands before handling or preparing food. People
                                  handling food for children must be free of communicable disease and wear
                                  clean outer clothes.
                             b) Work surfaces for food preparation must be kept clean. They should be
                                  washed with hot, soapy water and rinsed with a sanitizing solution.

                      Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   92
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

          Sanitizing solution can be made by adding 30mL Triad II or J-512 to 4.5L of
        c) The temperature at which food is kept is very important. Meat, fish, dairy
             products and eggs can support the growth of harmful bacteria. These foods
             must be properly cooked and kept hot (higher than 50 degrees C) or cold
             (less than 5 degrees C).
        d) Pizza, subs, milk and other foods are often brought into the school by
             outside suppliers. Hot foods must arrive hot and cold foods cold. They
             must be served within 30 minutes of arrival at the correct temperature.
             School personnel should specify the desired arrival time for the food when
             the order is placed. If the person who receives the food has reason to be
             concerned about its condition upon arrival, he/she should not accept the
             food. If food arrives at the school at an improper temperature more than
             once, please contact the Public Health Inspection Department at the Health
        e) Food prepared as a classroom experience must be supervised by a
             responsible adult who is familiar with safe food handling practices.
2.1.4   Principals must inform parents that it is the parents’ responsibility to advise the
        school if their child has a food allergy, intolerance or diet-related condition.
        The school must be notified in writing of the specific food restriction. The
        office will keep records of children with allergies and pass this information on
        to teachers/supply teachers as appropriate.
        a) Some food allergies can be life-threatening. Teachers should be prepared
             to administer emergency treatment if needed. Public health nurses are
             available to provide training to school staff upon request.
        b) Parents of children with food allergies should be encouraged to send all
             food for their children and to discourage them from trading or sharing food
             with others.
        c) In classes where students with food allergies have been identified, parents
             sending food should include a complete list of ingredients. A sample form
             letter for parents is attached (Appendix “A”). Teachers should discourage
             children with allergies from trying foods if the ingredients are not known.
        d) When food is ordered from a commercial outlet, a list of ingredients
             should be requested. This list must be made available to parents on
2.1.5   The Board encourages partnerships for the development of food programs that
        support good nutrition and optimal learning capacity (e.g., Healthy Learners
2.1.6   Vending machines should offer nutritious food choices (e.g., 100% juice, milk,
        cheese and crackers, fruit).

2.2 Elementary Schools
2.2.1  Foods and beverages chosen for elementary school students must support
       healthy eating. Foods made available will be high in nutrients, low in fat and
       selected from the four food groups.
2.2.2  Pop, candy bars, doughnuts, chips, popsicles and similar items should not be
       provided on a daily basis. (These foods and beverages that are not part of the
       four food groups and are higher in fat should be limited to special occasions.)
2.2.3  Foods chosen for shared classroom snacks must be those which pose minimal
       risk of having germs or toxins such as clean raw vegetables, fruit, crackers,
       muffins and dry cereal.
2.2.4  Special food days should have a menu that includes healthy food choices from
       at least three or the four food groups.
2.2.5  School tuck shops should explore and offer alternatives to the sale of foods low

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   93
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

        in nutritional value.

2.3 Secondary Schools
2.3.1   Foods and beverages available to students should be those that continue the
        development and maintenance of healthy eating habits.
2.3.2   A variety of nutritious foods and beverages should be promoted to enable
        students to make healthy food choices.
2.3.3   The following should be included in food service agreements between the
        Board and food providers:
        a) a minimum of one full-time cafeteria employee certified in safe food
             handling and
        b) a variety of nutritious foods and beverages to encourage students to make
             healthy food choices.
2.3.4   School tuck shops should explore and offer alternatives to the sale of less
        nutritious food.
2.3.5   School groups/teams should offer as fund raisers, items other than foods low in
        nutritional value.

              Reprinted with permission from the Avon Maitland District School Board
         For more information contact Marjatta Longston, Superintendent of Education
                                                                  Tel: 519-527-0111

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   94
                       SECTION 4
                       Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

                      Example Number 6

                      Policy Regarding Nutrition Foundation
                      Policy E.09

                      The Toronto District School Board recognizes the direct relationship between healthy
                      nutrition and the academic achievement of our students: that healthy nutrition helps to
                      support students’ learning, and enhances their physical, emotional, social and
                      intellectual development; that well nourished students are able to concentrate better,
                      retain and apply information more effectively, and more likely to demonstrate positive
                      behaviours and relationships with peers.

                      The Board is also aware that an increasing number of students across our system from
                      all backgrounds and circumstances do not consistently receive adequate nutrition to
                      support their learning and development needs, and that this may inhibit levels of
                      achievement and well-being among students in our schools.

                      The Board is therefore committed to working with its community partners to ensure that
                      students have equitable access to high quality school-based nutrition programs, and that
                      through curriculum activities , they have opportunities to develop an appreciation for the
                      value of proper nutrition as an integral part of their present and future lives.

                      The Toronto District School Board will therefore ensure that:
                          (a) procedures are established for the development of school-based nutrition
                              programs (breakfast, lunch and snack) in schools where the school and its
                              community determine that such programs will support the learning needs of
                          (b) school-based nutrition programs are developed in consultation with the school
                              community and that where feasible, students are involved in the planning and

Details                       delivery of the program;
                          (c) nutrition programs are provided in a safe and welcoming environment, reflect
                              sensitivity to the values and tastes of our diverse community, and conform to
 Source: Toronto
                              acceptable nutrition standards based on Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy
 District School
 Board, Toronto,
                          (d) nutrition education is incorporated into appropriate areas of the curriculum for
                              all students in order to develop decision-making skills for healthy living, and
                              that relevant material and teacher training are provided to support the
 Actual Policy
                              instructional program;
                          (e) parents and the community are provided with information about nutrition
                              programs and nutrition education in the TDSB in order to promote continuing
                              awareness of and support for the Board’s directions in this area.
 included at the
                          (f) procedures are in place to secure funding from external sources, including all
 end of the policy.
                              levels of government and the private and non-profit sectors, to support the
 Contact:                     development of nutritional programs in TDSB schools;
 Kathyrn Moraes           (g) a mechanism is established to co-ordinate, review and evaluate the
                              implementation and effectiveness of nutrition programs in the system, and to
                              make changes where necessary.

                       Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   95
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Adoption Date: October 4, 2000

                                Obtained from the Toronto District School Board web site
                                           For more information contact Kathyrn Moraes
                                                                      Tel. 416-397-3506

Additional Information Obtained from the Contact

• There were many concerns and potential barriers identified during the development
• Toronto was also dealing with the amalgamation of many school boards at the time
   this was being developed. Each of these boards had their own approaches to policy

How the Challenges Were Overcome…
• An extensive review consultation process was undertaken with all of the
   stakeholders. This allowed concerns to be discussed, provided an education
   process, and facilitated the reaching of consensus.

Plans for Revision?
• There are no plans for revision – the Toronto Board attempts to design policies for
    longevity by making them flexible enough to accommodate diversity.
• Supplementary procedures are being developed to support the policy.

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   96
                     SECTION 4
                     Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

                    Example Number 7

                    Sample Policy to Encourage Healthy Eating
                    1. PURPOSE AND GOALS
                    INTENT. All students shall possess the knowledge and skills necessary to make
                    nutritious and enjoyable food choices for a lifetime. In addition, staff are encouraged to
                    model healthy eating as a valuable part of daily life. School leaders shall prepare, adopt,
                    and implement a comprehensive plan to encourage healthy eating that includes:
                    • a food service program that employs well-prepared staff who efficiently serve
                         appealing choices of nutritious foods;
                    • pleasant eating areas for students and staff with adequate time for unhurried eating;
                    • a sequential program of nutrition instruction that is integrated within the
                         comprehensive school health education curriculum and coordinated with the food
                         service program; that is taught by well-prepared and well-supported staff; and that
                         is aimed at influencing students’ knowledge, attitudes, and eating habits;
                    • an overall school environment that encourages students to make healthy food
                    • opportunities and encouragement for staff to model healthy eating habits;
                    • services to ensure that students and staff with nutrition-related health problems are
                         referred to appropriate services for counselling or medical treatment; and
                    • strategies to involve family members in program development and implementation.

                    The school nutrition program shall make effective use of school and community
                    resources and equitably serve the needs and interests of all students and staff, taking into
                    consideration differences in cultural norms.

                    RATIONALE. The link between nutrition and learning is well documented. Healthy
                    eating patterns are essential for students to achieve their full academic potential, full

                    physical and mental growth, and lifelong health and well-being. Healthy eating is
                    demonstrably linked to reduced risk for mortality and development of many chronic
                    diseases as adults. Schools have a responsibility to help students and staff establish and
 Source: National   maintain lifelong, healthy eating patterns. Well-planned and well-implemented school
 Association of     nutrition programs have been shown to positively influence students’ eating habits.
 State Boards of
 Education          DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this policy:
                    “Competitive foods” refers to any foods or drinks sold or served on school grounds
 Sample Policy      other than meals served by the school food service program.
                    “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” refers to the current set of recommendations of the
                    federal government that are designed to help people choose diets that will meet nutrient
                    requirements, promote health, support active lives, and reduce chronic disease risks.
                    “Nutrition education” refers to a planned sequential instructional program that provides
                    knowledge and teaches skills to help students adopt and maintain lifelong healthy eating

                    2. NUTRITION EDUCATION
                    INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM DESIGN. Nutrition education topics shall be
                    integrated within the sequential, comprehensive health education program taught at
                    every grade level, pre-kindergarten through twelfth. The nutrition education program
                     Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   97
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

shall focus on students’ eating behaviours, be based on theories and methods proven
effective by published research, and be consistent with the state’s/district’s health
education standards/guidelines/framework. Nutrition education shall be designed to help
students learn:
• nutritional knowledge, including but not limited to the benefits of healthy eating,
     essential nutrients, nutritional deficiencies, principles of healthy weight
     management, the use and misuse of dietary supplements, and safe food preparation,
     handling, and storage;
• nutrition-related skills, including but not limited to planning a healthy meal,
     understanding and using food labels, and critically evaluating nutrition information,
     misinformation, and commercial food advertising; and
• how to assess one’s personal eating habits, set goals for improvement, and achieve
     those goals.

Nutrition education instructional activities shall stress the appealing aspects of healthy
eating and be participatory, developmentally appropriate, and enjoyable. The program
shall engage families as partners in their children’s education.

The school health council shall assess all nutrition education curricula and materials for
accuracy, completeness, balance, and consistency with the state’s/district’s educational
goals and standards. Materials developed by food marketing boards or food corporations
shall be examined for inappropriate commercial messages.

STAFF QUALIFICATIONS. Staff responsible for nutrition education shall be
adequately prepared and regularly participate in professional development activities to
effectively deliver the nutrition education program as planned. Preparation and
professional development activities shall provide basic knowledge of nutrition,
combined with skill practice in program-specific activities and instructional techniques
and strategies designed to promote healthy eating habits.

EDUCATIONAL REINFORCEMENT. School personnel shall not offer food as a
performance incentive or reward and shall not withhold food from students as

Nutrition instruction shall be closely coordinated with the food service program and
other components of the school health program. Nutrition concepts shall be integrated
into the instruction of other subject areas.

School instructional staff shall collaborate with agencies and groups conducting
nutrition education in the community to send consistent messages to students and their
families. Guest speakers invited to address students shall receive appropriate orientation
to the relevant policies of school/district.

School staff are encouraged to cooperate with other agencies and community groups to
provide opportunities for student volunteer work related to nutrition, such as assisting
with food recovery efforts and preparing nutritious meals for house-bound people.
School officials should also disseminate information to parents, students, and staff about
community programs that offer nutrition assistance to families.

STAFF AS ROLE MODELS. School staff are encouraged to model healthy eating
behaviours. Schools should offer wellness programs that include personalized
instruction about healthy eating and physical activity.


 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   98
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

INTENT. The state legislature/state board/local school board acknowledges that the
feeding of children is primarily a family responsibility. To supplement their efforts,
every school shall operate a food service program to ensure that all students have
affordable access to the varied and nutritious foods they need to stay healthy and learn

The food service program shall aim to be financially self-supporting. However, the
program is an essential educational and support activity and budget neutrality or profit
generation must not take precedence over the nutritional needs of students.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS. During each school day the school food service
program shall offer breakfast and lunch as well as snacks for students in organized after-
school education or enrichment programs. Each school shall encourage all students to
participate in these meal opportunities. In particular, the school shall make efforts to
ensure that families are aware of need-based programs for free or reduced-price meals
and that eligible families are encouraged to apply. The program shall maintain the
confidentiality of students and families applying for or receiving free or reduced-priced

The school food service program shall operate in accordance with the National School
Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1996 as amended and applicable laws and
regulations of state. Schools shall offer varied and nutritious food choices that are
consistent with the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Menus
should be planned with input from students, family members, and other school
personnel and should take into account students’ cultural norms and preferences. Food-
pricing strategies shall be designed to encourage students to purchase nutritious items.
Procedures shall be in place for providing to families, on request, information about the
ingredients and nutritional value of the foods served.

Upon a physician’s written request, modified meals shall be prepared for students with
food allergies or other special food needs. Information on the ingredients used in
preparation of school meals shall be provided to parents upon request. Parents shall be
notified about this option.

All food service equipment and facilities must meet applicable local and state standards
concerning health; safe food preparation, handling, and storage; drinking water;
sanitation; and workplace safety.

Staff shall cooperate with efforts in the community to recover wholesome excess food
for distribution to people in need.

EATING AS A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. Students and staff shall have adequate
space to eat meals in pleasant surroundings and shall have adequate time to eat, relax,
and socialize: at least 10 minutes after sitting down for breakfast and 20 minutes after
sitting down for lunch. Safe drinking water and convenient access to facilities for hand
washing and oral hygiene shall be available.

STAFFING. Each district/school shall employ a food service director, who is properly
qualified and certified according to current professional standards, to administer the
school food service program and satisfy reporting requirements.

All food service personnel shall have adequate preservice training and regularly
participate in professional development activities that address strategies for promoting
healthy eating behaviour, food safety, and other topics directly relevant to the

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   99
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

employee’s job duties.

Dining room supervisory staff shall receive appropriate training in how to maintain safe,
orderly, and pleasant eating environments.

CONTRACTED SERVICES. Specified elements of the school food service program
may be contracted out to food service management companies or other vendors
following established open bidding procedures. The contractor(s) shall fully comply
with the nutritional standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) for school food programs and be subject to district auditing processes.
District/school official shall be responsible for administering the contract. The district
retains the responsibility for meeting all USDA requirements.

COORDINATION WITH OTHER PROGRAMS. The food service program shall be
closely coordinated with nutrition instruction to allow students to apply critical thinking
skills taught in the classroom. Food service staff shall also work closely with those
responsible for other components of the school health program to achieve common

A child’s need for nutrients does not end when school does. Schools are encouraged to
offer meals during breaks in the school calendar and to coordinate with other agencies
and community groups to operate, or assist with operating, a summer food service
program for children and adolescents who are eligible for federal program support.

NUTRITIOUS FOOD CHOICES. Nutritious and appealing foods, such as fruits,
vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, and low-fat grain products, shall be available wherever
and whenever food is sold or otherwise offered at school. Schools shall take efforts to
encourage students to make nutritious food choices.

Food and beverages sold or served on school grounds or at school-sponsored events
shall meet nutritional standards and other guidelines set by the state/district/school
health council/nutrition committee. This includes:
• à la carte offerings in the food service program;
• food and beverage choices in vending machines, snack bars, school stores, and
     concession stands;
• food and beverages sold as part of school-sponsored fundraising activities; and
• refreshments served at parties, celebrations, and meetings.

FOOD SALES. The sale of all foods on school grounds shall be under the management
of the school food service program, except foods sold as part of a fundraising activity.
In middle and high schools, food and beverages shall not be sold from vending
machines or school stores during school hours/until 30 minutes after the end of the last
lunch period unless they are part of the school food service program. Profits generated
from sales of foods or beverages in vending machines or school stores will accrue to the
food service program/student organizations approved by whom.

Only student organizations and legally constituted, non-sectarian, non-partisan
organizations approved by whom are permitted to engage in fundraising on school
grounds at any time. These organizations are encouraged to raise funds through the sale
of items other than food. Foods sold for fundraising purposes shall not be sold while
school food service meals are being served. Each organization raising funds by selling
foods is limited to one event per month during school hours.

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   100
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Elementary school students shall not have access to food or beverages sold in vending
machines or school stores.

CLOSED CAMPUS. Students are not permitted to leave school grounds during the
school day to purchase food or beverages.

COMMERCIAL ADVERTISING. Partnerships between schools and businesses are
encouraged, and business sponsorship of educational activities and materials shall be
duly acknowledged. However, such partnerships shall be designed to meet identified
educational needs, not commercial motives, and shall be evaluated for educational
effectiveness by the school/district on an ongoing basis.

NUTRITION-RELATED HEALTH PROBLEMS. School counsellors and school
health services staff shall consistently promote healthy eating to students and other staff.
These professionals shall be prepared to recognize conditions such as obesity, eating
disorders, and other nutrition-related health problems among students and staff and be
able to refer them to appropriate services.

Source: Bogden, J.F. & Vega-Matos, C.A. (2000). Fit, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: A
School Health Policy Guide. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Boards of

          Obtained from the National Association of State Boards of Education web site.

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   101
                     SECTION 4
                     Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

                    Example Number 8

                    Position Statement on Nutrition Programs and Services in
                    The following statement was written by members of the Massachusetts School Nutrition
                    Task Force. Nutrition influences a child's development, health status, well-being and
                    potential for learning We encourage schools to meet the following goals:
                    1. Ensure children have access to adequate and healthy food while in school;
                    2. Promote healthy eating patterns through classroom nutrition education coordinated
                    with the comprehensive health education program including education, health and food
                    3. Ensure children have access to appropriate nutrition services; and
                    4. Establish a school-wide nutrition policy that involves input from a wide variety of
                    representatives from the school community.

                    Students must go to school with minds and bodies ready to take advantage of the
                    learning environment schools work so hard to develop. Good nutrition is a prime factor
                    in the student's ability to learn. In addition to families, the school environment plays a
                    vital role in shaping students nutritional health throughout the growing years in the
                    following ways:
                    • Students eat one to two of their meals in the school cafeteria;
                    • Classroom teachers provide factual instruction on human health and biology;
                    • Peer relationships and adult role models influence eating patterns and provide
                         subtle but strong messages in body image development;
                    • Physical education and school sports programs strengthen student's bodies and
                         often are sources of nutrition information, and
                    • School health services, guidance counsellors and classroom teachers provide

                         essential support for students' physical and psychological growth.

                    The Effect of Nutrition on Cognitive Development and Readiness to Learn
 Massachusetts      Hunger affects learning
 School Nutrition   Research demonstrates that under-nutrition can affect a child's behaviour, school
 Task Force         performance and overall cognitive development. Even when a child misses one meal,
                    behaviour and academic performances are affected. A hungry child has difficulty
                    learning. For a school age child, not eating breakfast can lead to fatigue and a
 Position           diminished attention span. While the body adjusts to decreased blood sugar levels, the
 Statement          brain struggles to perform its function with a minimal supply of nutrients. Children up
                    to the age of ten need to eat every four to six hours to maintain a blood sugar
                    concentration high enough to support the activity of the brain and the nervous system. 2
                    Most teachers can quickly identify those children who come to school without breakfast.
                    Their heads are on their desks at 10:00 AM – the peak learning hours. Chronic poor
                    nutrition may cause more serious learning deficits.

                    Poor nutrition affects learning and overall health status
                    Iron deficiency anaemia, caused by a diet low in iron-rich foods has been shown to
                    cause lethargy and decreased attention span and memory. Further, research
                     Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   102
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

demonstrates chronic anaemia has a direct effect on cognitive development. Iron is an
essential nutrient utilized for the transport of oxygen, energy production and formation
of neurotransmitters, chemicals in the brain that regulate one's ability to pay attention.
Poor nutritional intake over time increases a child's susceptibility to illness, which
results in increased absenteeism. A 1989 study in Lawrence, MA demonstrated the link
between school breakfast participation and attendance. Children who participated in the
School Breakfast Program had significantly reduced absence and tardiness rates when
compared to eligible non-participants.

All children suffer from the effects of poor nutrition. Increased susceptibility to illness
caused by poor diets; low blood sugars caused by skipping meals; and iron deficiency
anaemia caused by poor selection of food continue to be problems for high school
students. The increased nutritional requirements of the intense growth spurt and for
some, participation in sports, make teenagers particularly vulnerable. Headaches,
stomach upsets, and general malaise, common complaints in the school nurse's office,
may be a direct result of poor nutrition. Other nutritional concerns including restrictive
dieting, distorted body images, eating disorders and obesity may have an indirect effect
on learning, and be significant predictors of a teen's success in school.

Nutrition Education
Nutrition education promotes healthy eating practices
Quality nutrition education which is presented creatively and is grade appropriate builds
knowledge and skills throughout the child's school experience. It addresses factual
information and explores the health, social, cultural and personal issues influencing food
choices. Nutrition and nutrition education are recognized as important contributors to
overall health in the Massachusetts Education Reform initiatives as they are part of the
Health Curriculum Frameworks.

Comprehensive nutrition education programs extend beyond the classroom into the
larger school environment. The school cafeteria serves as a laboratory where students
apply critical thinking skills taught in the classroom. Physical education programs, after-
school sports and school health services are appropriate avenues for nutrition education
efforts. According to the Massachusetts Common Core of Learning, Students need to
explore how 1) knowledge has purpose and meaning in their lives and 2) curriculum
points to the connections within and across disciplines. Examples of how nutrition can
be integrated into other classes are: discussing ethnic food practices in the context of
history and geography; the study of essential nutrients in science and biology classes
applying mathematical and technological skills to conduct dietary analysis; and
addressing the wide range of social, cultural and psychological aspects of food in
language and social studies classrooms.

School Meals
School meals provide essential nutrients and calories
Research has shown that children eating school meals consume more nutrients than
those who do not participate in the school meals programs. For students from homes
where food is scarce' school meals may be the major source of their calories and
nutrients for the day. School meals may also be adapted for children with special health
care needs. A quality school meal program is an essential component of a healthy school
environment. Mealtime is a learning experience and helps a child make informed
nutritional choices as part of a healthy lifestyle. The 1995 Dietary Guidelines for
Americans reflect new scientific and medical research that links a diet low in fat and
high in fruits, vegetables and grains with a decreased risk for coronary heart disease,
stroke, some cancers and diabetes. They are the guiding principles for the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children. The School

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   103
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

Meals Initiative helps safeguard children's health by requiring schools to develop menus
that meet the Dietary Guidelines. Team Nutrition is an innovative network of
public/private partnerships supporting schools in implementing the School Meals
Initiative for Healthy Children. Team Nutrition provides creative nutrition education for
children and families, and state-of-the-art training and technical assistance for food
service professionals. Team Nutrition Schools are the link to community-level
implementation by actively involving a network of more than 200 supporting
organizations that in turn form community coalitions that promote the Team Nutrition
message through school, families, the community and the media.

School meal programs can be an active center of learning in the school although they
may look different in each community. They model healthy food choices and encourage
students to apply knowledge from the classroom in a practical setting. Exposure to
health promoting school meals and environment encourages students to make more
skilful food choices throughout their lives.

Nutrition Services
Nutrition services complement and enhance school health services
Nutrition services include screening, assessment, counselling/education and referral and
follow-up services. Students who may benefit most from school-based nutrition services
• children with special health care needs,
• adolescents who are obese, underweight, follow a vegetarian diet or have other
     related issues (e.g. eating disorders),
• students living in impoverished conditions with limited access to nutritionally
     adequate food, and
• students who abuse substances such as food, drugs, alcohol and tobacco.

Optimally, nutrition services are provided on the school premises by a qualified
nutrition professional who is recognized as a valued member of the health care team.
The Triton Regional School District in Northeastern Massachusetts represents an
example of a well defined team approach to nutrition services. The health coordinator,
school nurse, hospital dietitian, food service director and teachers work collaboratively
to successfully integrate nutrition into the school's comprehensive health program. To
integrate nutrition into its health services, the school negotiated with the local hospital to
secure the services of the hospital outpatient dietitian. The dietitian serves as an integral
member of the school health advisory team and works collaboratively with the school
nurse to screen and assess students' nutritional status and provide counselling, referral
and follow-up services.

Nutrition services are linked to physical education, school meals and health promotion
programs in the school and community. At a minimum, nutrition services in a school
health program have the following three components:
1. Standard nutrition screening criteria integrated into regular health screening services;
2. A well-defined plan for follow-up of students referred for community-based services;
3. Established linkages with community-based providers of nutrition services.

The type and extent of nutrition services may vary from district to district or school to
school. After assessing their individual needs and available resources schools can
determine the most compatible system for integrating nutrition services. The sample
nutrition assessment tool in Chapter 9 of the Comprehensive School Health Manual
produced by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is one resource readily
available to all schools.

  Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   104
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

School Community
The support of the school community helps create a healthy environment
For a truly comprehensive approach to school-based nutrition programs and services, it
is crucial that all members of the school community help to create an environment that
supports healthy eating practices. Administrators, teachers, school food service and
other personnel, parents and students, all need to be involved in this effort. Decisions
made in all school programming need to reflect and encourage positive nutrition
messages and healthy food choices. This includes coordination of nutrition education
with the cafeteria and the promotion of healthy food choices in the cafeteria and all
school events from fund-raisers to rewards for positive classroom behaviour.

Establishing a nutrition policy is an effective way to create a school environment that
supports healthy food choices. The policy sets standards and guidelines that promote
healthy eating in all facets of the school life. The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) publishes a guide to nutrition in schools which provides guidance on
how to establish a nutrition policy.

Advising parents when their children are participating in a nutrition education or
counselling experience will encourage their support at home. Parent involvement can be
in person or through communication sent to the home.

Local Community
The local community can help support school-based nutrition and health
promotion activities
The effectiveness of school-based nutrition programs and services can be enhanced by
outreach efforts in the surrounding community. At the very least school personnel
should be familiar with the health and nutrition resources available through the town
and local agencies. Contacts can be made with the health department, community
nutrition programs, health centers, local food pantries and fitness programs. Once
contacts are established, schools can collaborate with other community agencies to
positively influence the health and nutritional status of school-age children.

In Conclusion
As schools reshape themselves to meet the educational needs of students in the 21st
century, they need to recognize their role in health promotion in general and nutritional
health in particular. Knowledge gained about school-based nutrition interventions over
the past 15 years justifies the importance of school programs and services aimed at
improving nutritional health. School communities will benefit by integrating nutrition
education, programs and services into comprehensive school health initiatives which
promote healthy minds and bodies and student readiness to learn.

Source: Massachusetts School Nutrition Task Force

                Obtained from the American School Food Service Association web site.

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   105
                    SECTION 4
                    Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

                   Example Number 9

                   School Canteen Policy

                   The main aim of the Westfield Park Primary School canteen policy is to provide and
                   promote a variety of nutritious and healthy foods to the students and staff. Good
                   nutrition is very important and we should work towards teaching our children to make
                   healthy choices, which will lead to healthy adults.

                   The canteen will use the following guidelines to ensure that the children have a healthy
                   choice of diet.

                   Aims of the School Canteen:
                   • To provide attractive, nutritious and healthy meals at affordable prices.
                   • To provide a service to staff, parents and children, which meet their nutritional
                   • To encourage good eating habits which we hope the children will carry through life.
                   • As the school is a multi-cultural environment we can develop an appreciation of
                      different cultures through their foods.
                   • To provide foods recommended by the School Canteen Association and
                   • To link the canteen and the educational programs taught in the school.
                   • To apply high standards of hygiene as recommended by Food Safe in relation to the
                      preparation, storage and serving of food at the canteen.
                   • To provide a friendly environment for parents to meet and be involved with the
                   • To encourage good manners from students, staff and parents.
                   • To function as an efficient business and help provide financial support towards
                      resources in the school.

Details            Nutrition Policy:
                   Good nutrition is a high priority and we should work towards healthier lifestyles. School
                   years are very important times of growth and development and the canteen can
                   encourage better eating habits in children by promoting and using the five food groups
 Westfield Park
                   in conjunction with the food pyramid as set out by the Heart Foundation of Australia.
 Primary School,
                   Types of Food to be sold by the Canteen:
                   • Fresh fruit daily
 Actual Policy     • Salads and vegetables
                   • A variety of bread (wholemeal, Lebanese, pita and white)
                   • A variety of dairy products (cheese, yoghurt, milk and flavoured milk)
                   • A variety of lean meats and sandwich fillings as per recommended by the School
                      Canteen Association and STARCAP
                   • A variety of healthy snacks as per recommended by the School Canteen
                      Association and STARCAP
                   • Water

                   Types of Food to be limited in the Canteen:
                   • Pastries – pies, pasties, snack pies, sausage rolls and quiche
                    Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   106
    Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

•     Cakes and biscuits
•     Ice creams

Types of Food not to be sold in the Canteen:
• Cola based drinks
• Cans of cool drink
• Iced coffee
• Any products high in sugar
• Lollies
• Chocolate and chocolate bars
• Cream cakes
• Any products high in fat
• Potato chips
• Any products high in salt

Menu Planning:
• The canteen will be consistent with this policy.
• The canteen will offer a summer (Terms 1, 4) and a winter (Terms 2, 3) menu.
• The canteen committee will be responsible for any changes made to the menu.
• The menu will be reviewed every semester, to take in any price increases of
• The canteen committee will be responsible for price setting.
• Mark up of 40% will apply to cover running costs and profit.
• Healthy items such as meal deals will be subsidised to encourage sales whilst less
   healthy items increased to discourage sales.
• The canteen will participate in special promotional weeks throughout the year but
   will have a minimum of one per term.
• The canteen will have 3 pastry free days.
• The canteen will limit the sale of foods high in fat content to 2 days.
• The canteen will limit the sale of foods high in salt and sugar.

Linking the Canteen and the Curriculum:
During the school year the canteen will participate in special promotions such as Heart
Week, WA Week, Fruit and Veg Week and Healthy Bones to provide the students with
practical learning experiences in making healthy food choices which can also be
reinforced in the classroom.

The canteen can be linked to the curriculum through such activities as Art (design a
poster), Computer (design a menu), Maths, Music (Make up a catchy jingle), Science,
Language and Health Education (food pyramid).

Marketing and Promotions:
• Canteen will provide menus for staff, students and parents.
• When participating in special promotions, flyers will be sent home, the school PA
   system will be utilised and the menu blackboard will be used.
• Teachers and students should be given at least 2 weeks notice of any promotion so
   able to incorporate ideas into their classroom.
• Daily specials to be advised at the canteen.

Food Hygiene:
As the canteen completed and passed the Food Safe Program as provided by the local
Council in 1997, we will continue to abide by the standards as set down by the Food
Safe Program. This means that we will demonstrate high standards of hygiene in
relation to preparation, storage and serving of food. The Canteen Supervisor will be
responsible for ensuring that all volunteers complete the Food Safe Program and abide

    Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   107
 Policies to Encourage Healthy Eating

by its standards. Canteen staff will be required to attend refresher courses when the
need arises.

Occupational Health and Safety:
The Westfield Park Primary School Canteen will comply with the Occupational Safety
and Health Regulations (1996).

Canteen Management Issue:
• Employment of canteen staff will be the responsibility of a selection panel, which
   will consist of the principal of the Westfield Park Primary School and members of
   the executive committee of the P & C Association.
• The Canteen Supervisor will be employed according to the Equal Opportunities
   Act, under a workplace agreement.
• The Canteen Supervisor must have completed or be completing the TAFE, or an
   accredited Canteen Management Course. Refresher courses to be attended as
• The canteen will not encourage credit.
• All volunteers must undergo Food Safe training.
• All volunteers will be provided with free lunch as thanks for their services.
• Management of canteen finances will be the responsibility of the P & C
   Treasurer. All cheques to be signed by at least two members of the P & C
   (President, Treasurer or Secretary).
• P & C will decide distribution of profits.
• Use local suppliers where possible.
• Canteen equipment can be updated by bringing the matter to a canteen committee
   meeting, but major purchases (over $250) must be ratified by a general P & C
• All discounts, allowances, complimentary articles, gift concessions and the
   proceeds from any supplier of good or services, directly or indirectly, to the canteen
   shall remain the property of the canteen and be properly recorded and later will be
   entered into stocktake.
• A duty document for the Canteen Supervisor is attached.

• The canteen policy will be available to view in the canteen school registrar’s office,
    the Principal’s office and on our school website on the Internet.
• Key points will be on display in the canteen.
• Canteen policy will be reviewed every two years.
• This policy cannot be added to or amended except at a special general meeting
    called to review the policy, and then, only with the approval of the majority of those
    present and entitled to vote.

Policy Endorsement:
We, the undersigned, hereby certify that this policy was adopted at a meeting of the
Canteen Committee held on Tuesday, 21st day March, 2000 and ratified by the general
meeting held on Tuesday, 9th May, 2000.

Secretary (Parent Body) ________________________

President (Parent Body) _________________________

Chairperson (Canteen Committee) ____________________

                              Obtained from the Westfield Park Primary School web site.

 Policies in Action – Ontario Heart Health and Nutrition Resource Centres, June 2002   108

To top