For parents, nutrition programs offer a piece of mind that their children will not be hungry at school. Student Nutrition Programs offer a convenient, economical way to encourage and support the development of lifelong healthy eating habits.
Q. What type of food will be served in my child’s nutrition program?
A. Your child will be offered a selection of healthy food that tastes great!
Based on the Student Nutrition Standard (1530K Revised, 2013) , developed by Toronto Public Health, your child will choose from healthy menus based on food groups from Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating.
For Breakfast and Lunch, 3 food groups are provided.
- Vegetables and fruit
- Grain products
For Snack, 2 food groups are provided:
- Vegetables and fruit
- Grain products OR milk products
For Breakfast or Lunch, 4th food group is provided from Meat and alternatives.
Food is purchased from TDSB approved vendors or reputable local grocery stores. There are bulk buying opportunities available through the Food and Logistics Department of Toronto Foundation for Student Success.
Q. What if my child has an allergy to a food?
A. Every effort will be made to control the school environment to minimize the exposure of identified allergens as part of a prevention plan, whenever possible, for example all schools are peanut-free. Despite these efforts to reduce the risk of exposure to zero, the Board cannot ensure an allergen-free school environment.
When parents agree to have their child participate in the nutrition program, they must submit an allergy/food restriction form so that accommodations can be made. For instance, if a child is allergic to milk, that child is not served milk. If it is an anaphylactic allergy, the bin with food going into that student’s classroom is clearly labelled, kept separate and sanitized daily. Every classroom bin has a class list attached with student allergies identified so that volunteers and supply teachers are aware which children have allergies. The person running the nutrition program must be trained in Sabrina’s Law, be certified in safe food handling, reading product labels and ensure the food preparation area is sanitized daily.
Q. How is the food prepared for my child’s nutrition program?
A. Your nutrition program Lead and/or volunteers prepare the menu and ensure your child’s food is delivered and served in a safe, clean environment that adheres to Toronto Public Health sanitary standards, including proper refrigeration and daily sanitizing of food preparation areas.
A Toronto Public Health inspector visits your school’s food preparation space to ensure it complies with all safety regulations. All nutrition program Leads are certified in safe food handling every two years so that they are able to implement the most current safety standards. A Toronto Public Health dietitian reviews menus and visits your school to ensure your child is offered healthy food choices.
Q. How is my child’s nutrition program funded?
A. Provincial and municipal grants cover a small portion of the program costs. Contributions from parents are necessary to make the program successful and meet funding criteria. Local School Nutrition Advisory Committee may suggest an amount for parents to contribute based on the cost needed to run your school’s program. Nutrition programs are universal and available for all students, regardless of family’s ability to contribute financially. For information on other funding sources, please contact one of our Nutrition Liaison Officers.
Q. Why does our school need a nutrition program?
A. The Toronto District School Board, through its Nutrition Foundation Statement, recognizes the direct relationship between healthy nutrition and academic achievement of students.
Learning and enjoying healthy food gives students the tools to make healthy choices. Through nutrition programs, students are more likely to develop healthy life long eating habits which combat childhood obesity and chronic diseases. Student Nutrition Programs improve learning outcomes, create healthy school environments and address hunger issues in a non-stigmatizing way. Good nutrition is an asset for all students and is part of our school’s plan to support student success.
Q. How do I volunteer?
A. Volunteers are vital to the success of school nutrition programs. To volunteer, please speak with your school principal.
To ensure the safety of all children, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) requires police reference checks
(26K 2/8/2008) for all adult volunteers who have contact with students.
Schools may also welcome secondary school students who wish to volunteer toward their 40 hours of community service required to graduate.
For any other questions or more information please contact any one of us in the Student Nutrition Program Office.
Nutrition Liaison Officers