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Nutrition Services for Vancouver Schools

Our Public Health Dietitians work with schools using a comprehensive school health approach to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Vancouver school health manual - Section 4: Nutrition

Support is provided to: 

  • Assist the school in assessing their school food environment and addressing their school’s healthy eating goals
  • Support the work of staff, parents and/or students for food and nutrition initiatives
  • Support the development of school policies related to food and healthy eating
  • Work with schools to plan food literacy initiatives such as Farm to School, classroom food preparation and school gardens
  • Consult regarding the implementation of the BC Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools (e.g. food service, fundraisers, vending machines, school events)
  • Provide professional development workshops (e.g. school healthy eating assessment / planning process)
  • Provide healthy eating resources (e.g., Canada’s Food Guide, Nutrition Month posters, lesson plans about food, nutrition, body image, gardens, etc.)
  • Help school staff find appropriate nutrition services for students (e.g. eating disorder services, nutrition counselling)

Contact Public health Dietitians

Vanessa Lam

Public Health Dietitian
Public Health Program - Child & Youth
Phone (604) 261-6366
Vanessa.Lam@vch.ca

Kathy Romses

Public Health Dietitian
Public Health Program - Child & Youth
Phone (604) 872-2511 local 3318

Education Materials

Vancouver Canadian Resources for Food and Healthy Living Education 

The Canadian Resource for Food & Healthy Living Education is a resource for teachers and provides suggested lessons, resources, and a list of community agencies. Topics include: healthy eating; preparing food; growing food; agriculture and sustainable food systems, body image, mental health and media literacy; and global citizenship and world hunger.

Use Canadian resources to ensure learning is supported with consistent messages. Canada’s Food Guide and other related resources are available on the Canada’s food guides website.
Healthy Eating at School
A provincial website that includes resources, community partners and associations, research and reports, sample nutrition policies, success stories and ideas for taking action.

Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in Schools
Healthy meal and snack options are an important part of creating healthy eating environments for where we live, learn, work and play. The resources on this website provide information on nutrition standards for schools and public buildings in B.C. The Guidelines define the minimum nutrition standard for student health and are a mandated policy for public schools to apply to all food and beverages sold to students.

Brand Name Food List
The website provides nutrition ratings for packaged and franchised foods and beverages to find Choose Most and Choose Sometimes items that meet BC's nutrition standards for Schools.

Healthy Schools BC 
Healthy Schools BC brings together healthy schools information, products, programs and resources from across BC into one convenient and easy to use website, and demonstrates how these programs can work together in a planned, coordinated way under the Comprehensive School Health approach. Strengthened health-education partnerships, tools for healthy school assessment and planning, and the coordination of existing school-based healthy living programs and resources combine to support improvements in students' health and learning. 

Nutrition Counselling Services

HealthLink BC – Dietitian Services
Registered Dietitians answer food and nutrition questions by phone (8-1-1) or email.  Service is available in 130 languages.

Centre for Healthy Weights: Shapedown BC 
This program provides a holistic approach to weight management issues for children, adolescents, and their families. There are no diets involved in the program. Nutrition education, parental limiting setting, screen time, activity, body image and self-esteem, family meals, communication, and eating out are some of the topics covered at the weekly educational sessions. In addition, families take part in weekly fun activities at their local YMCA or community recreation centre. The 10 week group program helps families with children between 6-17 years old with a BMI greater than 97%. Parents and children must be prepared to make changes and attend on a regular basis. Children with a BMI between 85% and 97% will be considered if certain medical conditions are present. The program is available in Chinese at the Richmond location. Call 604-875-2345 x 5984 for more information. Referrals are accepted from physicians and nurse practitioners.

VCH Vancouver Eating Disorder Program 

This program provides client-centered care that empowers individuals with eating disorders and their families to take responsibility for the recovery process and enhance their quality of life.  The program’s approaches include individual and family therapy and outreach, support groups, nutritional counselling, recreational therapy, group work and specialized medical and psychiatric support.  Consultation and education are also available to community agencies and professionals to promote awareness and early intervention. 

Free services are available for children, youth and adults who have Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and other specified feeding or eating disorders. They do not provide services for individuals with binge-eating disorder. They work with individuals at various stages in the recovery process in collaboration with their primary care providers...A referral from the primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner) is required. Children under the age of 12 require a pediatrician's referral.

Call (604) 675-2531 for more information.

SOURCE: Nutrition Services for Vancouver Schools ( )
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