FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – School District 60’s superintendent believes food education is a top priority among schools as the B.C. government seeks feedback on its proposed guidelines.
The province’s food guidelines were last updated in 2013, and the province is looking to align with the 2019 updates to Canada’s Food Guide.
Some of the changes to the guidelines include going from the minimal nutrition standard to providing “the gold standard”. The proposed changes will apply to food and beverages sold, offered, and served, compared to the current guidelines that only apply to sales.
Instead of being a mandated policy for only public schools, the guideline will be implemented at all schools in B.C.
Stephen Petrucci, the superintendent of SD 60, says the most important goal is to provide food and nutrition for students, especially those who really need it and cannot get it otherwise.
“But that there is an education around that. And so we definitely see the responsibility to continue to educate both students, and parents about healthy eating, as much as possible,” said Petrucci.
Petrucci explains that the proposed guideline isn’t going to be immediately implemented.
“What we’ve read so far, though, is that they’re using terms like ‘moving towards a gold standard.’ In other words, it’s not going to just be night and day from one day to the next, in terms of a complete wholesale change of what is being offered or sold or provided for kids.”
The school district is trying to balance what students will eat and what they know is healthy for them. Petrucci mentions that they shop locally for most of their canteen and meal programs.
The changes do not apply to food or beverages brought from home for personal consumption or food prepared by students as part of a class project.
The province’s survey on the proposed changes is open until April 30th.