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West Vancouver School District Addresses Foods Used for Incentives or Offered to Students at Events

West Vancouver School District has a Healthy Schools Committee that covers all topics related to comprehensive school health. This committee, comprised of the assistant superintendent, teachers, support staff, administrators, parents and community practitioners has made a decision to add to the “Health Promotion in Schools” Administrative Procedure to address foods that are offered to students in the school setting. 

After many discussions, it was decided that the following amendment be added: 

“It is the intent of the West Vancouver School District to use rewards and incentives that do not undermine the health of students and/or reinforce unhealthy eating habits. Non-food rewards will be used as the first choice as incentives for students. If food is offered as a reward, healthy choices with appropriate portion sizes are to be strongly encouraged. 

“Foods and beverages that do not meet the ‘Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools’ should make up no more than 20% of all food choices that are offered to students by parents, teachers and students in all venues, through all programs, at all events and celebrations. The school principal is to encourage the use of non-food rewards or healthy food choices in all classrooms and school events.

“. . . significant events may continue to offer food as part of the celebration and would be exempt from the nutrition standards outlined in this memorandum. Schools should continue to look at options that promote healthy eating options for all occasions and events.”

School administrators were provided with a variety of resources to help them support the Procedure including the Action Schools! BC Eat Smart Celebrations document, which West Vancouver school stakeholders helped to develop. 

Check out the document Healthier Rewards for more ideas. 

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