The school food solution
Creating a healthy school food environment with Canada’s Food Guide
Keywords:School Food, Food Policy, Canada’s Food Guide, Sustainable Food Systems, Policy Implementation, Nutrition Equity, Food Environment, Climate Friendly Diet, Plant-Based, Local Procurement
In 2021, Canada’s federal government made a historic commitment to develop a national school food policy. Among overlapping challenges of increasing food insecurity, rising food costs, and the impact on food systems from climate change, there is now an opportunity to create a school food environment that ensures universal access to nutritious foods and supports sustainability in food systems. A universal school food program can ensure that all children, regardless of income, access the recommended nutritious foods and can promote climate-friendly diets. Such school food programs can also support local farmers and regional economies. In this paper, we outline the policy context for the new Canada’s Food Guide and the researched benefits of school food. We argue that Canada’s Food Guide can support a healthy school environment that is equitable and that promotes sustainability in the food system by embracing founding principles of diet equity and sustainability. Our concluding discussion outlines issues to be addressed in implementation.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Chantelle Dacunha, Eric Ng, Sarah Elton
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