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Articles on School lunches

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau next to the chef and other people at the Boys and Girls Club East Scarborough, in Toronto, before an announcement to launch a National School Food Program, April 1, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

What needs to happen next for Canada to have a successful school food program

Researchers and co-chairs of the Canadian Association for Food Studies’ School Food Working Group explain what Ottawa should prioritize to ensure its national school food program succeeds.
School meal waivers that started with the COVID-19 pandemic stopped with the end of the public health emergency. Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Free school meals for all may reduce childhood obesity, while easing financial and logistical burdens for families and schools

Since nutrition standards were strengthened in 2010, eating at school provides many students with healthier food than is available cheaply elsewhere. Plus, reducing stigma increases the number of kids getting fed.
Many children, especially from low-income communities or communities of color, eat up to half their daily calories in school. SDI Productions/E+ via Getty Images

Free school meals for all children can improve kids’ health

Expanding free lunch programs could also reduce stigma for students, lower administrative burdens for schools and create jobs for communities.

Swap shapes for rice crackers, chips for popcorn… parents can improve their kids’ diet with these healthier lunchbox options

We developed a healthy lunchbox program. Here, we provide parents with ideas for swapping unhealthy foods kids might like to healthier ones comparable on cost, taste, texture and preparation time.
Food literacy includes understanding where food comes from and knowing how to plan, select, prepare and eat healthy meals. (Shutterstock)

School gardens and kitchens could grow with Ontario’s proposed food literacy act

Ontario’s proposed Food Literacy Act for Students, a first in Canada, would mean students in grades 1-12 have opportunities to grow food and prepare food and learn about local foods.
School lunch is a lot less fun during a pandemic. Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

How school lunch could improve when classrooms are full again

Students are spreading out when they eat and using more single-serve packaging. Future changes to school meals could be less visible.
School food programs can also serve children’s critical social and emotional needs. (Shutterstock)

Care is the secret ingredient in school lunch programs

School food programs should be key elements of governments’ COVID-19 responses. In planning these, the relationships that are part of providing food matter.
Canada is ranked 37th of the 41 most wealthy nations in regards to child well-being and access to healthy food, according to UNICEF. (Shutterstock)

Federal budget pledges a Canadian school food program but recipe requires funding

A well-planned national school food progam in Canada could be a huge boost to children’s health outcomes, long-term healthcare spending and local agriculture and economies.

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