Nanâtohk Mîciwin - Universal School Foods Strategy
Nanâtohk Mîciwin (Universal School Food Strategy – USFS) provides healthy meals, snacks and beverages for all 9 MESC schools. Along with providing comprehensive food education, Nanâtohk Mîciwin includes students in growing and preparing meals.
- Support healthy choices for MESC students and Maskwacîs families by offering a wide variety of delicious, healthy food options throughout the school year
- Eliminate unhealthy food and beverage marketing to children and youth in all MESC schools
- Foster strong relationships between Maskwacîs schools and local food producers and other community partners to better support local food production strategies
Benefits of Nanâtohk Mîciwin (USFS)
- Schools play a unique role in creating healthy food environments for young people by teaching students about the many health benefits of making healthier food choices a school and at home.
- In fact, the World Health Organization has identified schools as a key setting for global action to promote public health and end childhood obesity.
- When school food policies and initiatives — such as nutrition guidelines and fruit and vegetables subscription programs — are successfully integrated into schools alongside an educational component, students’ intake of fruit and vegetables greatly increases.
- Connecting schools to local food through initiatives like Farm to Schools can also improve fruit and vegetable consumption; increase knowledge about food, growing and agriculture; and build community connections with local producers.
- Providing access to healthy food in school settings through meals and snacks can support student performance at school.
- Research suggests that school breakfasts can have a positive impact on student learning outcomes, demonstrating that diet quality is important to academic performance.
- Our meal and snack program is available to all students to prevent any stigma that may result from targeting student participation based on socioeconomic status.
- Removing the influence of unhealthy food and beverage marketing in schools — including in vending machines, candy sales, and fundraisers that include the marketing of unhealthy food to children and youth — can support healthier eating patterns, contributing to reduced obesity risks over time.
- Research has shown that exposure to food and beverage marketing to children and youth can have a significant influence on student’s food and beverage preferences and consumption habits.
- Increasing the proportion of locally grown food available in school settings can help create new markets for local farmers, reducing the environmental impact of food production and transportation in our communities.