All members of the school community need to work together to build a healthy school that supports healthy eating. A healthy school environment includes healthy eating. Students can provide great ideas that can be included in the planning process. Involve students in helping to decide which policies, actions and food and beverage options are best for their school. Students, teachers, parents, administrators and food service providers can promote and model healthy eating behaviours at school, during after school activities and at home. Everyone can take action to promote healthy eating and implement the Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools.
Here are some examples of what these groups can do:
- Start a student advisory group. Advocate for healthy food and beverage choices in the cafeteria, vending machines, school stores and at school events.
- Voice your opinion. Participate in events such as taste testing of potential cafeteria recipes for menu planning and filling out surveys about what healthy food should be available in the schools and at events.
- Raise awareness in your school about the impacts of marketing unhealthy food and beverages to students.
- For more information about how to take action and apply the Guidelines, check out these resources:
- Get involved. Join a committee to support a healthy school nutrition policy and the implementation of the Guidelines in all school food venues.
- Assess your school. See where students may be exposed to marketing of unhealthy food or beverages. Consider ways your school may restrict the influences of marketing.
- Use the Checklist when preparing freshly made food to be sold at school events such as bake sales. You can also use pre-scored recipes from Bake Better Bites and Tips and Recipes for Quantity Cooking.
- Involve students in food preparation for school events and talk to them about the four food groups from Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide.
- For information on how to take action in implementing the Guidelines, see:
- Choose nutrition education strategies that are hands-on. Encourage students to work with food service staff and food and beverage vendors on marketing healthier food as part of school projects.
- Use the Guidelines in class projects. For example, students can apply their math, writing and business skills by evaluating and reporting on food and beverage items' taste, price, appeal and compliance with the Nutrient Criteria and Checklist.
- Use a Comprehensive School Health approach to find opportunities for healthy eating across the whole school.
- Teach students about healthy eating principles and growing, preparing and composting food.
- Teach students about local food systems through Farm to School programs. Many resources are already available to guide program start-up.
- Encourage parents to refer to the Guidelines to support healthier choices when they are participating in school events where food and beverages are sold such as sporting events, bake sales and other school fundraising events.
- Arrange for a nutrition workshop that incorporates the Guidelines as part of professional development activities, such as the one offered through Action Schools! BC.
- Engage a group of students to start a committee for healthy eating action in the school.
- Advocate for the inclusion of healthy eating in school goals and policies.
- Launch or participate in a Healthy Schools Network inquiry process.
- For more information on how to take action in implementing the Guidelines, visit For Schools and Communities.
- Form a committee to develop and monitor healthy school policies. Include at least one representative from each of the following groups: school administration, parents, students, teachers, food service staff and school support staff.
- Partner with the school board and district to promote the implementation of the Guidelines by working with food and beverage vendors in your district.
- Support school-wide nutrition education.
- Consider building on the Guidelines to include other policies such as restricting the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages in your school.
- Encourage and work with teachers to integrate nutrition education materials and the Guidelines throughout the curriculum and in student school projects and presentations. Promote and support the use of available teaching tools. Provide teachers with the time and resources to learn and apply these tools in the classroom.
- Integrate healthy eating into school goals or policies.
- Participate in the BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program, begin aFarm to School program and register with Action Schools! BC.
- Promote the Healthy Schools Network inquiry process to school staff.
- Designate half of a Pro-D day to school-wide planning and discussion about supporting healthy eating.
Food Service Providers
- Provide a variety of healthy food that incorporates the four food groups from Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide. Make sure to reflect student preferences and cultural backgrounds.
- Score food and beverages using the Guidelines. For freshly made food, use the Checklist to score recipes and use the Nutrient Criteria to score prepackaged food.
- Use recipes from Bake Better Bites and Tips and Recipes for Quantity Cooking to provide healthy menu options.
- Provide appropriate serving sizes and avoid "super sizing."
- Involve students and teachers in developing marketing techniques for new menu items.
- Work with students and parents to select and evaluate menus. Use strategies such as taste testing and client satisfaction surveys.
- For more information on how to take action in implementing the Guidelines check out these resources:
Where Can We Find Out More?
- HealthLink BC:
- Bake Better Bites: Recipes and Tips for Healthier Baked Goods (PDF 2.43 MB)
- Tips and Recipes for Quantity Cooking: Nourishing Minds and Bodies (PDF 6.87 MB)
- Healthy Schools BC
- Farm to School
- Action Schools! BC
- BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition Program
- Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide
Last updated: June 2014
© 2013 Province of British Columbia. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counseling with a registered dietitian. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.