The Current State of Local Food Use and Food Literacy in Meal and Snack Programs Targeted to Young Children in Ontario
The Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC) at the Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA) has collaborated with the Greenbelt Fund on a research project, in partnership with the Food Innovation & Research Studio (FIRSt) at George Brown College (GBC) and the Helderleigh Foundation, which has just released its final report: The Current State of Local Food Awareness and Utilization in Meal and Snack Programs Targeted to Young Children in Ontario.
Project advisors were from Ontario Dietitians in Public Health, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and Sustain Ontario.There is a gap in knowledge around local food awareness and use, and food literacy attitudes in programs serving food to young children. With over 5400 licensed child care centres and over 3500 Student Nutrition Program (SNP) sites in Ontario, there is potentially significant opportunity to influence the selection, consumption and awareness of healthy, local foods through menu offerings, local food literacy and nutrition education in these settings.
The report identifies the current situation of local food use and food literacy in meal and snack programs targeting young children, while outlining the challenges, barriers and opportunities to support more local food use and food literacy in child care and student nutrition programs.
The research project investigated the knowledge, attitudes and awareness of local food use and food literacy among food suppliers and caterers and key influencers of young children in Ontario. It also involved an environmental scan of food literacy tools and resources being used to educate food providers and educators in early childhood settings, as well as the resources used and supports needed to educate children and their parents/caregivers about local foods and healthy eating.
These results can be used for future planning to promote the use of local food and food literacy activities in early childhood settings.
To read the full article, please click the link below
Di Felice, Josie. “Report on the Current State of Local Food Awareness and Utilization in Meal and Snack Programs Targeted to Young Children in Ontario.” Sustain Ontario, Ontario Public Health Association, 1 Apr. 2019, sustainontario.com/2019/04/01/report-on-the-current-state-of-local-food-awareness-and-utilization-in-meal-and-snack-programs-targeted-to-young-children-in-ontario/.