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Making Ontario Schools Healthier

Archived Backgrounder

Making Ontario Schools Healthier

Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Good food, daily physical activity and a healthy environment that supports learning and growth are vital to helping students reach their full potential.

The Eating Well Looks Good on You project is part of the McGuinty government's strategy to promote better health and boost student success. The pilot project provides healthy recipes to schools that use fresh, locally grown food. The project was developed in collaboration with David Rocco, Real Food for Real Kids and Foodland Ontario.

Ontario has also introduced:

• The Healthy Food for Healthy Schools Act to help provide healthier options in schools. Starting in September, all schools will drop trans fat from food and beverages sold in school cafeterias, vending machines and tuck shops.

•The Healthy Schools Recognition Program that encourages schools to participate in activities that promote healthy behaviours and practices. This could include forming a weekly walking program, increasing use of local seasonal fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias or using the new recipes approved by David Rocco. Schools are encouraged to participate and be recognized.

•Twenty minutes of Daily Physical Activity during instructional time in elementary schools. This includes developing resource guides for teachers, principals and school boards, as well as an e-learning module that includes video examples of activities teachers can use.

Sabrina's Law requiring every school board to establish and maintain an anaphylactic policy. The Ministry of Education provided every school and public health unit with an Anaphylaxis Resource Kit. The ministry also developed an e-learning module that includes video demonstrations on how to use the epinephrine auto-injectors.

•The Northern Fruit and Vegetable pilot that currently delivers three weekly servings of fruit and vegetables to 12,000 students in the Algoma and Porcupine regions of Northern Ontario.

•The new Eat Right Ontario website and telephone service where teachers, parents and caregivers can have nutrition-related questions answered by a registered dietitian for free. Call 1-877-510-510-2, Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST or visit Ontario.ca/EatRight.

•Support for the development and distribution of resources such as "Busy Bodies" and "Eat Right, Be Active" for parents and caregivers of young children to help instil healthy eating habits and encourage physical activity at an early age.

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Health and Wellness Home and Community Rural and North Children and Youth