Guiding Principles

for effective and supportive nutrition programs.

Program Management

  • A program coordinator is in place leading the planning, delivery, and reporting of the program.
  • The school community supports the coordinator and has access to learning opportunities including nutrition education.
  • Parents, caregivers, volunteers, and partners are informed about the program and receive opportunities for financial or volunteer contributions.
  • Suitable space, equipment, and supplies are available to meet program needs.


  • Budgeting, including cost-effective menu planning and purchasing, is in place.
  • Finances are monitored carefully with bookkeeping and recording systems.
  • Programs keep copies of all receipts.
  • Fundraising takes place to ensure a sustainable program.

Food and Nutrition

  • Manitoba School Nutrition Guidelines are used to create menus.
  • A variety of foods are offered:
    • When planning meals, aim for a variety of healthy foods from Canada’s Food Guide, including at least one vegetable or fruit, one whole grain food and one protein food.
    • When planning snacks, aim for a variety of healthy foods from Canada’s Food Guide, including at least one vegetables or fruit, one whole grain food or one protein food
    • Vegetable and fruit snacks contain 1 vegetable or fruit
  • To provide regular nourishment, meals and snacks are offered at least at least 2 times per week.
  • Follow food safety practices. Ensure someone on site has their Food Handler Certificate.

Supportive & Social Environment

  • Maintain welcoming, comfortable spaces for students. Give students enough time to eat their meals. Make food available outside the program hours as necessary. Programs accommodate needs.
  • Students have opportunities to build food and nutrition skills.
  • When growing, purchasing, and serving food, consider the environment. Recycle, reduce, or compost food packaging and waste. When possible, use reusable containers, bowls, plates, cups, and cutlery.

Measuring Success

  • A system is in place to monitor and evaluate the program.
  • Success and steps for improvement are shared with the school community, partners, and funders.