Roles and Responsibilities Related to Food & Eating- Secondary

  • Parent/caregiver/student’s role is to determine WHAT food to provide
  • School’s role is to determine WHEN & WHERE students eat; however, students may choose to leave school property during lunch time
    • Ensure students have enough time to eat regularly throughout the day.
    • Provide eating environments around the school that encourage students to eat together and use mealtimes as a time to connect.
    • Be neutral and do not comment on students’ food choices (what, how much, or the order they eat their food). 
    • Save nutrition education for outside of mealtimes.
    • Offer opportunities to learn about, see, smell, touch, grow, cook, and try a variety of food without pressure or judgment.
    • Avoid talking about dieting, restricting food intake or specifying portion sizes.
    • Avoid weighing students, using weight tables or charts, prescribing meal plans, or assigning calorie counting activities.
  • Student’s role is to decide HOW MUCH to eat
    • Respect that many factors influence what foods students eat and that students have different health needs.

As educators it is important to recognize that:

  • grocery shopping, food selection and meal planning are mostly adult roles; however, students may be more involved
  • students are becoming more responsible for their planning or packing lunches
  • the foods students bring from home reflect their families’ needs and resources
  • each student’s food experiences, abilities and preferences are different
  • families are doing their best

Concerned about a student not having enough food? 

  • Speak to your administrators about what is available at your school.
  • If you are worried that this could be an eating-related concerns, speak to your school’s guidance counsellor or administrator.