Rocky View Schools Healthy Eating Initiative

An Effective Practice

Description

The Rocky View Schools Healthy Eating Initiative (RVS HEI) is a partnership between Rocky View Schools and Alberta Health Services. The RVS HEI is based on the notion that the school setting has a strong influence on the health and health practices of the students and that a systems approach can most effectively promote and sustain healthy eating environments in schools by establishing an infrastructure for people and resources.

The program objectives are to (1) adopt system wide healthy food guidelines; (2) create physical and social school environments that support healthy eating; (3) demonstrate positive impact on students’ attitudes, knowledge, and self-reported behaviours around health eating; and (4) develop a systems model that is transferable to other school jurisdictions and organizations. Grounded in principles of strengthening community action, the project has included: consultation with schools throughout the jurisdiction; development of a system-wide representative advisory committee; completion of individual school food environment assessments to initiate changes within the schools; and development and implementation of healthy eating guidelines. Underpinning the success of the program has been the collaboration and support of key stakeholders, such as, Health and Education jurisdiction representatives, parents, staff, students, food suppliers and the community.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the Rocky View Schools Healthy Eating Initiative is to implement healthy eating guidelines that will change the school food environment, thereby supporting students in making healthy food choices.

Results / Accomplishments

Consultation with RVS resulted in the formation of a district-wide representative advisory committee. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of schools participated in both the school food environment assessment and a student survey targeted at grades 7-12. Healthy eating guidelines were ratified unanimously by the RVS Executive and the Board of Trustees. A school level implementation plan was developed and ratified to move implementation of the guidelines forward in individual schools. RVS has integrated a nutrition focus in the 3-year plan and schools, in turn, include healthy eating strategies and outcomes in their one-year plans. Schools were offered an opportunity to access food service equipment to support healthy food choices in schools via a corporate partnership through the Calgary Health Trust. Finally, post-evaluation interviews and student surveys are scheduled for the spring of 2010 and the results will be available after that time.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Farah Bandali, MSc, RD
10101 Southport Road SW
Calgary, Alberta T2W 3N2
(403) 943-6719
farah.bandali@albertahealthservices.ca
http://www.calgaryhealthregion.ca
Categories
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
Health / Children's Health
Education / School Environment
Organization(s)
Alberta Health Services; Calgary Health Region
Date of publication
2010
Date of implementation
2006
Location
Canada
Target Audience
Children, Teens

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