Connections: Tools of the Trade (Photo of David Rocco: Rutendo Sabeta)
Appetite for learning

1 The milky way

Glass of milk

Need a healthy dose of inspiration? The Dairy Farmers of Canada serves just that when you and 15+ of your closest teaching friends book a free two-hour workshop with one of their registered dietitians. Soak up tips and resources as the pros facilitate the cross-curricular healthy living program that’s perfect for your K to Grade 8 students. You’ll leave with plenty of health-related topics for in-class consumption as well as grade-specific program manuals that complement the suggested curriculum fits and rubrics. Additional online games and resources are available.

2 Healthy school tools

Add free posters, images and activity plans to your alimentary arsenal! The Eat Well and Be Active Educational Toolkit — created by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada — offers ready-to-use teacher presentations and resources that you can download or order for children (five to 11), youth (12 to 17) and adults (that’s you!). While you’re at it, get your copy of Canada’s Food Guide and other related resources on the same site. → Canada’s Food Guide → Educators and Communicators

Orange slices

3 Chefs in training

The key to healthy eating is healthy food and many kids have no idea how to prepare it for themselves. Enter ActiveChefs, a not-for-profit organization that offers free, fun and affordable cooking classes for five- to 12-year-old students in Hamilton, Peel and Halton. Kid-friendly recipes from around the globe are used to teach healthy eating habits, develop basic cooking skills and encourage multicultural awareness. ActiveChefs will visit any school upon request, and their interactive classes can be set up anywhere from a school’s gymnasium to the local library — no kitchen required.

4 Food evolution

The Ministry is cooking up a plan to bring healthier fare to school cafeterias. In collaboration with the Food Network’s David Rocco — as well as Real Food for Real Kids and Foodland Ontario — the Eating Well Looks Good on You pilot project is delivering nutritional recipes to schools using fresh locally grown food. Watch the celebrity chef prepare a couscous salad with Hospitality and Tourism Specialty High Skills Major (SHSM) students, then browse the full list of Rocco-approved recipes, get the skinny on how healthy your school is and learn how to make it even better. You’ll also find provincial links to public health and recreation departments. → Teachers → Popular Topics →Healthy Schools → Information for Teachers and Principals or Links

5 Bringing baking back


Bake sales aren’t dead — they just need a makeover. That’s why the dietitians at Eat Right Ontario developed Bake It Up!, a downloadable collection of recipes that comply with the Ministry of Education’s School Food and Beverage Policy. Distribute these tasty ideas to staff, parents and school council to revive the fundraising goldmine of yesteryear. → Resources → Bake it Up!

6 It’s 12 o’clock somewhere

In What’s for Lunch? How Schoolchildren Eat Around the World ($12.95, Red Deer Press), author Andrea Curtis peeks into the lunch bags and trays of children from 13 countries, with a stop in Toronto along the way. Her website and blog feature teaching tools that help nine- to 12-year-olds navigate nutrition, investigate poverty and understand food production within the Ontario curriculum.

What's for Lunch? Skillet