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Say Yes! To Good Healthy Food in Schools

The Ontario Edible Education Network has developed a toolkit of case studies, fact sheets, presentations, messages and stories to help decision-makers envision how a stronger school food environment could be advanced in Ontario.

We hope that parents, teachers, program providers, and other advocates will be able to use these resources to make the case to their provincial, municipal, and school decision-makers for stronger school food programs for all of our kids.

Explore the Say Yes! toolkit on the new Edible Education Network website.

First National Farm to School Month

This October join Farm to Cafeteria Canada in celebrating its national Farm to School Month Campaign to connect children and youth with sustainably produced foods.

You can celebrate in the classroom, on the farm, in the cafeteria, in the garden and online.

Snap a picture with your favourite Farm to School sign and tag #farmtoschoolcanada to showcase your involvement! Register your school for a chance to win a $1000 grant to fund Farm to School activities.

Webinar: Working with School Boards, Oct. 7

Join us for a free webinar tomorrow (Tuesday October 7th) at 3:30p.m.-4:45p.m. to discuss the new Say Yes! To Good Healthy Food in Schools tools and resources and learn about working effectively with school boards to bring healthy food, food literacy curriculum and a Universal Student Nutrition Programs into schools.

Join Soni Craik of Ecosource (Region of Peel), Brent Mansfield of Think&EatGreen@School (Vancouver) and webinar moderator Erin Beagle of Roots to Harvest (Thunder Bay) as they share success stories and discuss your questions. Register now!

Innovative Student Nutrition Programs in Ontario: Identifying Case Study Examples

In partnership with the University of Guelph’s Research Shop, we have released another report, Innovative Student Nutrition Programs in Ontario: Identifying Case Study Examples.

Based on responses from an email outreach asking for suggestions of innovative Ontario Student Nutrition Programs, key themes have been summarized on how SNPs have made their programming work, as well as challenges encountered.

Check out the report and feel free to share it!

Local Food Procurement Resources

The USDA has a helpful page of resources on their website to help guide schools, agencies, nonprofits and producers through the supply chain of how to buy locally.

Though the resources come from the U.S., many are still useful educational tools here.

NRC Nutrition Grand Round Webinars

In Collaboration with the Nutrition Resource Centre, the Ontario Public Health Association website has posted several webinars (upcoming and passed), covering a variety of topics, including Food Skills Development and the Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy.

A number of the webinars look at healthy eating and nutrition among youth - check them out!

Ministers' Mandate Letters

On September 25th, the Government of Ontario released the mandate letters for the members of Premier Wynne’s Cabinet. Below are some highlights from Ministries that are working on children and youth and their connections to good, healthy food:

Ministry of Children and Youth Services (Minister MacCharles) 
Ensure that every child and young person in Ontario has access to the right supports and opportunities needed to make positive choices, reach their full potential and seamlessly transition to adulthood.

Ministry of Education (Minister Sandals)
Have students learn from an up-to-date health and physical education curriculum; help increase experiential learning opportunities; and support the development of community hubs in unused school space.

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Long-term Care & Wellness (Associate Minister Dameria)
Continue to implement the Healthy Kids Strategy and lead the Healthy Kids Ministers’ Working Group to further efforts in this area.

Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy (Minister Matthews)
Oversee the implementation of Ontario’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy: Realizing Our Potential.

Read more about the Ministers' Mandate letters and what they mean for food and farming.

Real Food for Real Kids Recipe

Real Food for Real Kids has provided us with another delicious recipe for your kids!

Lemongrass Curry Tofu
Makes 4-6 servings

500 g  organic extra firm tofu, 0.5”diced
800 ml  coconut milk
2 stalks celery, diced
1  onion, diced
1  carrot, diced
1  red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp  sunflower oil
2 tbsp  garlic, minced
2 tbsp  ginger, minced
2 tbsp  lemongrass, peeled & minced (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp  mint, chopped
2 tbsp  Thai basil, chopped
2  lime leaves, chopped (fresh or frozen)
3 tsp  sea salt
1 tsp  dry chili flakes

1. In a large pot, sauté garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, onions, carrots, celery and red pepper in sunflower oil until onions are soft.
2. Add coconut milk, salt, tofu, mint, basil, and chili flakes and bring to a boil.
3. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.

Other Tips:
• Get creative and try adding other vegetables in the dish. How about baby bok choy or water chestnuts?
• Serve over a bed of steamed rice.
• Make a double batch and freezeportions for extra busy nights – the rice too!