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Introducing Healthy Food Choices Resource
Published by Administrator [admin] on 03/21/2006 (3835 reads)
Introducing Healthy Food Choices Resource
Holy Angels High (all girls)

Introducing Healthy Food Choices

A Resource for Schools -- Cape Breton Schools share their experiences and lessons learned



Whatís working

         Phasing it in slowly

         Providing choice and flexibility (be willing to change menu items if they arenít popular)

         Introducing foods from different cultures

         Gradually and quietly introducing whole wheat into menu; kids really donít notice the change

         Involving students Ė creative drawing contests in the cafeteria, menu ideas and suggestions, taste tests

         Establishing standard pricing/flat rates Ė it makes it easier for the parents too!

         Involving our cook or cafeteria manager in the redesign of the menu and providing tasty food that is attractively prepared

         Principals and teachers actively involved in leading and modelling the change

         Communicating with the students openly and consistently about the reason for and benefits of the change

         Involving parents and volunteers. Programs donít work without their involvement and support. They are a vital link.



What isnít working

         Sudden change, removing all unhealthy food and beverage options at once. They left the school to eat elsewhere

         Certain menu items have been less popular



Best advice

         Use a gradual, phased-in approach

         Make it fun, involve the students, teachers, parents and volunteers

         Be flexible, be prepared to make adjustments as you go

         Pay attention to pricing. A few cents can make the difference in whether items sell, or not. Consider flat rate pricing to make it easy for parents, students and staff.

         Provide choice and variety.

         Lead by example.

         Communicate positively, openly and consistently.

         Explore ways to involve community clubs and organizations in fundraising.




So far, so good

         Sales, in some schools, have gone up

         Students are enthusiastic and like the new menu

         More students are remaining in the school for meals making it easier to get them back in time for classes

         Fundraising alternatives are proving successful

         Healthy eating is being integrated with physical activity for a more wholistic approach to health and well-being



Top 10 Most Popular Menu Items

  • Soups (no salt) and biscuits
  • Wrap sandwiches
  • Pizza (with whole wheat flour)
  • Chocolate milk
  • Spaghetti
  • Hot and spicy chicken (homemade sauce)
  • Oatmeal chocolate chip (just a few) cookies with wholewheat flour
  • Pasta salad
  • Chicken ceasar salad
  • Baked chicken tenders



Prepared by Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection in collaboration with the Department of Education and Cape Breton schools

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