Best Practices

for effective and supportive nutrition programs.


Program Management

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


  • Budgeting, including cost effective menu planning and purchasing is in place.
  • Finances are monitored carefully with bookkeeping and recording systems. Copies of all receipts are kept.
  • To ensure a sustainable program fundraising takes place.

Food and Nutrition

  •  Manitoba School Nutrition Guidelines are used to create menus.
  • Variety is offered; Breakfasts & lunches contain at least 3 food groups, one of which is a vegetable or fruit. Snacks contain at least 2 food groups, one of which is a vegetable or fruit. Vegetable & Fruit snacks contain 1 food group (vegetables and fruit). All meals and snacks are offered at least 2 times per week.
  • Food safety practices are followed and someone on site has their Food Handlers Certificate.

Supportive & Social Environment

  • Welcoming, comfortable spaces for students are maintained. Students are given enough time to eat their meals and food is 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 the environment is considered. Food packaging and waste are recycled, reduced, or composted. When possible re-usable containers, bowls, plates, cups and cutlery are used.

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.