Resources for Educators

Resources for Educators

Using this page: The Curriculum based lesson plans have been designed to incorporate all the topics and relevant links outlined in the curriculum. In addition, if you search the topic you wish to find more information about in the curriculum a list of mentions and links will be provided.

Below are a list of key topics that may be of interest to teachers, school boards and parents.

Public Health is committed to assisting educators to incorporate healthy eating and active living into the classroom setting, as well as role modeling healthy habits for the students to last a lifetime. Public Health Dietitians support your schools by working with student nutrition programs and offering training to school staff to create healthy school nutrition environments. Healthy Schools: New School Food And Beverage Policy (



Creating a Healthy and Supportive Food Environment

Creating a Healthy Classroom

Curriculum–based Lesson Plans

Student Nutrition Ontario Programs


Support for Healthy School Lunches

Healthy Fundraising

Community Food Programs

Food Waste


Mental Health: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

Food Literacy

Training and education opportunities

Curriculum Lesson Plans/Activities



Creating a Healthy and Supportive Food Environment


Creating a Healthy Classroom

Conversations in the classroom can help students develop a healthy relationship with food. Teachers can create a classroom that supports a child’s healthy growth and development, including their mental health, by ensuring the classroom is an emotionally safe and healthy place to be.

Here’s how:

  • Focus on positive social interactions, relationships, and eating experiences
  • Use only food choices from Canada’s Food Guide for classroom activities and celebrations
  • Refrain from commenting on foods in students’ lunches as “healthy” or “unhealthy”
  • Acknowledge that food choices are influenced by family income, culture, and level of food literacy (food and nutrition knowledge, skills, self-efficacy/confidence, food decisions, and other external factors)
  • Use the parent handout on Healthy Lunches for students to share with their families
  • Encourage all students to use the Student Nutrition Ontario program

Healthy Active Living


Curriculum–based Lesson Plans

You will find curriculum-based lessons, school nutrition checklists, interactive tools and templates, and printer-friendly pages.


Student Nutrition Ontario Programs

Student Nutrition Ontario Logo

Healthy eating helps children learn, play, grow and develop. Proper nutrition can help children get the most out of their school day. Student nutrition programs contribute to student learning and health. SNP’s can support a healthy diet, improve cognitive functioning, improve classroom behaviour and increase school attendance.

Recipes for Student Nutrition Programs


In 2017, a revised edition of the Recipes for Student Nutrition Programs for what can be served in Ontario student breakfast, snack, and lunch program was released by the Student Nutrition Ontario (SNO) Program. Check out these Recipes for Student Nutrition Programs created by Ontario Dietitians working in public health.


The booklet is designed to assist in planning a program’s menu by providing checklists, sample meal and snack program menus and a selection of recipes that fit within the Student Nutrition Program Nutrition Guidelines (

. By participating in SNP, students have the opportunity to learn about food preparation and healthy eating habits. Nourishing Young Minds. Toronto Public Health. 2012.

All of the recipes in this booklet might not work in your program. The recipes have been selected with a variety of cooking equipment and volunteer resources in mind, so that you can find some that will work in your program. We encourage you to try the recipes and find your favourites. With each recipe, you will also find tips to help you plan a complete meal or snack according to the MCYS SNP Nutrition Guidelines.

Food Variety


Canada released its Food Guide in 2019. Some resources may still reference the older version. These resources can still be used until an update is released to reflect the new guide.

For Information on the new guide visit the health units’ Eating Well, Canada’s Food Guide 2019 webpage.



Ministry of Education Guidelines: Healthy Schools: New School Food And Beverage Policy (

Nutrition Standards Tool

Fact Sheet

School Food and Beverage Resource Guide

School Food and Beverage Quick Reference Guide

Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy, Elementary Teacher Resource Guide, 2011

Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy, Secondary Teacher Resource Guide, 2012


Support for Healthy School Lunches

School Lunch Your Kids Will Munch

Packing a healthy lunch for a child – or making any meal of the day for that matter - can be frustrating. What will they eat? What do you want them to eat? The key is working together to give them choices from the food groups.  Don’t forget the key points on Creating a Healthy Classroom.


Grey Bruce Health Unit has provided a page of resources covering a variety of topics and age groups.


Resources for Parents


Healthy Fundraising

For a fresh take on school fundraising using Ontario fruits and vegetables enroll with Fresh from the Farm - a collaborative initiative between the Ontario Ministry of Education, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, and Dietitians of Canada.

The fundraiser provides schools with the great opportunity to raise funds by selling fresh local fruit and vegetables to the community (the schools make 40% profit on sales), while also promoting healthy eating and supporting Ontario farmers.




Community Food Programs

The Good Food Box

Community Food Programs allow Grey Bruce residents to connect over shared interests in food. Programs can be open to the entire community like Community Gardens, the Good Food Box, including the School Student Nutrition Ontario Program. To learn more about programs in your area check out the Community Food Programs page

Community food programs can be used to support healthy school environments and be incorporated into teaching students about Healthy Living during Health and Physical Education classes. Review the Curriculum Lesson Plans/Activities section below for grade specific lesson plans, activities and resources for both elementary and secondary education.

Community Garden

Town of Blue Mountains Community Garden, 2019


Food Waste

Food Matters

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has released a Food Matters Action Kit, designed for children and youth to learn about preventing and reducing food waste, available in English, French and Spanish at

The action kit has more than 70 activities, such as food waste audits and making compost with the help of worms, and has been designed for youth across North America. It has been arranged in two groups — one for kids aged 5–13, and one for youth aged 14–25.



Allergies and Peanuts

Be aware of Sabrina’s Law - An Act to Protect Anaphylactic Pupils, came into force January 1, 2006.

Sabrina’s Law requires every school board to establish and maintain an anaphylaxis policy that includes staff training and every school principal to develop individual plans for pupils with an anaphylactic allergy.

For more information about Sabrina’s Law, visit the updated e-learning module. It includes avoidance strategies, emergency procedures and online videos on how to administer medication through the use of the epinephrine auto-injectors.

Keep the school allergy-safe 

  • According to Sabrina’s law, it is the obligation of the pupil’s parent or guardian and the pupil to ensure that the information in the pupil’s file is kept up-to-date with the medication that the pupil is taking
  • The pupil’s parents can ask the teacher to inform parents that foods and snacks brought into the classroom must be safe for all students if that is the policy of the school
  • Teachers should remind students not to share or trade their food
  • Sabrina’s Law does not require or encourage food bans to prevent anaphylaxis in school settings. Evidence-based guidance on effective responses to allergies can be found in Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings.
  • Canadian guidelines require that food products that contain high-risk allergens like peanuts- are clearly labeled. You can find these products listed within the ingredient list
  • Suggest to parents to volunteer to bring in snacks for classroom parties

Food Allergy Canada


Mental Health: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

Mental Health

Teachers can support students in creating Positive and Healthy Behaviours by modeling healthy behaviour, and creating environments that not only support healthy eating and physical activity opportunities but foster self-acceptance, and fair and respectful communication. When teaching any curriculum be mindful of the choice of words, language and behaviour used moving the focus away from negative weight-centred language to positive healthy behaviours.

The table below provides some ideas on how to support a shift towards positive healthy behaviours. For additional ideas and tips visit Tools for Everyone Working with Children and Youth at PLAY Bruce Grey and the Tools for Every Educator resource. Additional resources can be found in the Healthy Eating Curriculum Supports 2019 in the Appendix under Educator Resource: Guidelines for Prevention of Eating Disorders


Reflect on:

  • Your beliefs and attitudes about body size, eating, activity and how you feel about yourself.
  • Weight-centered messages such as “you look great”, “you’ve lost weight”, “I was bad today I ate cake” and their negative impact.


Teach children & youth to:

  • Focus on their abilities rather than on their appearance.
  • Compliment others on their talents and accomplishments.
  • Treat others with respect.
  • Identify & challenge misleading media messages and understand the power of advertising.



  • To what children & youth say about themselves and others.
  • Use these opportunities to promote positive language.



  • That children’s bodies change and grow. Celebrate that bodies come in all shapes and sizes.




  • For access to healthy foods where children & youth meet. The foods that are available have a strong influence on the foods that they choose.
  • To make the healthy choice the easy choice.
  • To build connections with parents & community partners to support these positive behaviour messages.


Provide opportunities for children & youth to:

  • Find their interests and discover fun things to do.
  • Do activities outside. We tend to be more active and happy when we are in nature.
  • Try different activities so they can find something they enjoy!
  • Plan, shop and prepare meals and snacks.
  • Plan and lead games & activities.
  • Eat together. It is important for more than just general nutrition. The discussions that arise help children & youth develop their own communication, decision making, and social skills as well as their self-esteem and social supports.



  • Children & youth from weighing themselves. Weight is not the best measure of health for growing children.
  • Commenting on people’s weight, shape or size.

Created by Leads, Grenville & Lanark Healthy Unit, and adapted by Elgin St. Thomas Pubic Health February 2016


Food Literacy

Food Literacy

Food literacy includes interconnected attributes organized into the categories of food and nutrition knowledge; food skills; self-efficacy and confidence; food decisions; and ecologic (external) factors.

Food Literacy, Food Security, and Local Food Procurement in Ontario’s Schools. Education Backgrounder. Sustain Ontario 2013

Food Literacy: A Framework for Healthy Eating

Food Literacy: A Framework for Healthy Eating - Print version

Food literacy video



Notes for Clear language PP

Clear language Food literacy power point

Food Literacy Research and Reports 

Food Literacy and School Years Nutrition – NEC Infographic


Training and education opportunities

Webinar: A Journey through Canada’s Food Guide; What Educators Need to Know

Date: September 23, 2019
Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm

Webinar: Beginning the Discussion: An Overview of the 2019 Elementary Health and Physical Education Curriculum

Date: October 10th, 2019
Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm

If you have any questions, please e-mail

e-Learning: Online Anaphylaxis Training

For additional education and training opportunities contact your local health unit, and speak with a Dietitian


Networks: School Nutrition Workgroup, supports the creation of a comprehensive healthy nutrition environment in all elementary and secondary schools, and student nutrition programs in Ontario.


Curriculum Lesson Plans/Activities

Healthy Eating Curriculum Supports

A comprehensive Healthy Eating Curriculum resources containing Lesson Plans, Activities, Educator Resources with links to Grade specific expectations for the revised Health and Physical Education Curriculum.

Healthy Eating Curriculum 2019


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