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Overview

To help prepare students for a healthy future, Alberta Education continues to phase in a targeted school nutrition program with a total investment to date of $29 million.

With an initial investment of $3.5 million for the 2016/2017 school year, 14 school authorities across Alberta participated in a school nutrition pilot. A summary of the 2016/2017 pilot (PDF, 4.1 MB) was developed to highlight promising practices, innovative approaches and collaborative partnerships that had emerged. Budget 2017 allocated $10 million to expand the program to include 62 public, separate and francophone school authorities across the province. In Budget 2018, government continued its commitment to phase-in a targeted school nutrition program for elementary students in the province. $15.5 million was allocated to the program in the 2018/19 school year.

Students in participating schools receive a daily nutritious meal that follows the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth. It is estimated 30,000 students will receive a daily nutritious meal in the 2018/2019 school year.

Funds for the program are distributed directly to school authorities to continue, establish or enhance existing nutrition programs in identified schools. While planning for innovation, sustainability and capacity building, school authorities use this funding to support students with the greatest need.

Learning and teaching resources

Healthy schools

Healthy schools encourage students to:

  • practice healthy eating
  • practice active living
  • contribute to positive social environments in their school

Health and life skills (K to 9)

Health and life skills enables students to:

  • make well-informed, healthy choices
  • develop behaviours that contribute to the well-being of self and others
  • respond to the opportunities and expectations in the world of work

Career and Life Management (High school)

Career and Life Management program of studies helps students:

  • make good choices in all aspects of their lives, including health and nutrition
  • develop behaviours and attitudes that contribute to the well-being and respect of self and others, now and in the future

Career and Technology Studies (High school)

The Health, Recreation and Human Services cluster offers food and nutrition courses.

Supporting documents

Additional information about Alberta Education's 2016/2017 school nutrition pilot program.

More nutrition resources

Nutrition resources and guidelines to assist Albertans with healthy food choices.

Additional information

How will the school nutrition program help educate students, parents and guardians about the importance of healthy eating?

Programs must follow the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth, which are designed to help schools and communities make healthy food readily available for young people, so that the healthy choice is an easy choice.

Participating school authorities are required to include a nutrition education component as part of their program.

While there are several opportunities to address health, wellness and nutrition throughout our current provincial curriculum, a key component of the school nutrition program is to ensure students, teachers, parents, caregivers and community members have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of reading food labels, choice and preparation of healthy foods, and access to Alberta's food resources.

What are the requirements for selected school authorities to participate in the school nutrition program?

Each participating school authority is responsible for submitting a proposal identifying the participating school(s); outlining how a nutritious meal program will be introduced and/or how the authority plans to enhance or expand existing programs; and an outline of how the funding will be allocated for the program.

All programs must follow Alberta's Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth.

Are all schools offering a lunch program or will there be breakfast and snack programs as well?

Each school authority is asked to design a program that consists of one nutritional meal per school day. It is expected that school authorities are able to determine what is needed most in their schools in terms of timing of the meal.

How will Alberta Education ensure the program is sustainable for schools?

In addition to providing meals to students, another key component of the program is to ensure students, teachers, parents, caregivers and community members have the opportunity to learn more about the importance of reading food labels, choice and preparation of healthy foods, and access to Alberta's food resources in order to build capacity and ensure programs are sustainable for schools.

Alberta Education believes it is important that we work hand-in-hand with the many successful breakfast and lunch programs that already exist in Alberta schools and that school authorities continue to work with their community partners to identify and utilize supports and resources in their local areas.

Contact

To connect with the School Nutrition Program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-9296
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: SchoolNutrition@gov.ab.ca