Schools play an important part in helping students lead healthier lives. We teach students the skills needed to make healthy choices and reinforce those lessons through school practices.
Ontario's nutrition standards help schools provide healthy menu items for students. They follow the principles of healthy eating outlined in Canada's Food Guide.
The following standards ensure food and beverages sold in schools help students' healthy growth and development.
Nutrition standards guidelines
The Ontario nutrition standards divide all food and beverage products sold in schools into three categories:
Not Permitted for Sale: Food contains few or no essential nutrients and/or contain high amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium. Food and beverages in this category are not sold in schools. Items include candy, energy drinks and fried foods.
Healthiest, Sell Most (80%): Food contains higher levels of essential nutrients and lower amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium. Makes up at least 80 per cent of food choices available for sale. The same requirement applies to beverages. Items include extra-lean ground meat and whole grain breads.
Healthy, Sell Less (20%): Produces contain slightly higher amounts of fat, sugar, and sodium. They must make up less than 20 per cent of food choices available for sale. The same requirement applies to beverages. Includes bagels and cheese.
Food prepared and served by schools should be prepared using healthy cooking methods requiring little or no added fat or sodium. Acceptable methods are baking, barbequing, boiling, broiling, grilling, microwaving, poaching, roasting, steaming or stir-frying.