Key Focus Areas

Resources and Programs

Teaching and Learning: Fostering Food Literacy

Teaching and learning activities are at the heart of a school’s efforts to develop food literate students that have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to choose, grow, prepare and enjoy food to support one’s health, community, and the environment. Opportunities to foster food literacy and develop food skills exist in the classroom across curriculum areas, and are strengthened by hands-on learning in gardens, kitchens, local farms and in the community. Programs, both during and outside of school, that teach healthy eating are complemented by efforts to build food skills such as cooking, label-reading, grocery shopping and growing food. There is no one way to engage in teaching and learning to foster food literacy, so feel free to begin with what you are comfortable with and build from there.

Here are links to provincial programs and resources that support schools to engage in teaching and learning activities to foster food literacy:

BC Agriculture in the Classroom
BC’s award winning Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is a non-profit organization that works through its various programs with educators to bring BC’s agriculture to students in BC.

BC Cancer Agency
BC Cancer Agency has developed, an award-winning program to teach young people about cancer prevention and healthy living.

BC Dairy Association Workshops, Lessons and Resources
BC Dairy Association is a not-for-profit organization funded by the dairy farmers in British Columbia that delivers leading edge nutrition education programs to students in BC Schools.

Farm to School BC
Farm To School (F2S) is broadly defined as a school-based program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms. It aims to improve student nutrition, and to provide students with educational opportunities about foods and the local food system, while supporting local farmers and the local food economy.

Healthy Schools Network
The Healthy Schools Network (HSN) is a community of educators across the province who are motivated, skilled, and supported in the pursuit of student wellness initiatives within their classrooms, schools, or districts.

Heart and Stroke Foundation’s HeartSmart Kids™
The Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF) is a national organization with a mission to create healthier lives free of heart disease. Through local area offices HSF supports communities with education and resources.

Sip Smart! BC™
The Sip Smart! BC™ Teacher Resource Guide helps teach children from Grades 4 to 6 what they need to know to make healthy drink choices. Sip Smart! BC™ was developed by the BC Pediatric Society and Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC & Yukon.

Relationships and Environment: Improving School Food Environments

This pillar of a comprehensive school health approach increases access to healthy food at school and improves the social and physical aspects of the school food environment, such as social interactions around food, role modeling, lunchtime experience, the kinds of foods available at schools. Access to healthy food and improving the school environment strengthen classroom and learning experiences. Salad bars, meal programs, school milk programs, and tasting opportunities are all important aspects of this pillar of a comprehensive school health approach to food literacy.

Here are links to provincial programs and resources that support schools to address this pillar to improve access to healthy food and school food environments:

BC School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program
Farm to School BC
Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools
School Meal and School Nutrition Program Handbook
School Milk BC

Community Partnerships: Supporting Schools to Achieve Their Food Literacy Goals

Community partnerships support schools in achieving their food literacy goals exist and are often unique to each school and community. There are many opportunities for community partners to be involved in supporting a comprehensive school health approach to food literacy at a local or regional level. These partners could include community organizations, farmers, health professionals, municipalities, and many more depending on how your school’s food literacy goals. Consider how, in addition to taking advantage of the provincial programs and resources highlighted elsewhere, partners in your community can support your efforts to develop food literate students.

Our School Policies: Creating Supportive School Food Policies

School food policies are support healthy food environments, increase access to healthy food and support healthy eating and food literacy initiatives at school. These policies can be developed at the school or school district level, and in some cases at the provincial level. Schools can work with all stakeholders across the school community including students and parents to create a whole school food policy that reinforces all other aspects of a comprehensive school health approach to food literacy by expressing a common vision encouraging all aspects of food to be brought together, clearly, coherently and consistently. School food policies can address the sale of unhealthy food, school garden policies, classroom celebrations and many other aspects of the school environment.

Here are links to provincial programs and resources that support schools to develop and implement school policies to support food literacy:

Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools