Snacks and Lunch in Ontario Schools

Many children eat lunch at school, especially those who take the bus to go to school.

Schools typically have a lunch room or arrange for a space for students to eat their lunch at mid-day. Some schools (especially secondary schools) have a cafeteria where students can buy their lunch.

Packing Lunch: What Can Children Bring?

Lunches can be prepared with the food that your children are accustomed to eating at home although it is likely that they will not be able to heat their lunch. Students will not be provided with plates and cutlery. Because of this, many students bring sandwiches to school for lunch, because these are more easily eaten in these circumstances.

It is important to include juice or water (rather than sugary drinks, like pop). Students in elementary school are given a break (recess) in the morning and in the afternoon, and healthy snacks, one for each break, are usually brought to school by students. Having healthy snacks and beverages during the day helps improve students’ concentration and learning.

After lunch, children have playtime (usually outside) until class resumes. School staff members supervise them indoors or outdoors in the schoolyard.

For our good and the good of our environment we encourage the children to think “Litterless”. You can help your children by:

  • Encouraging them to eat all their food
  • Making more use of re-usable containers
  • Using a thermos for drinks

If you send your children with a lunch box or container, please make sure that their name is clearly written on the container.

Food Allergies

More and more schools have rules banning certain food from school property (in school and outside), due to food allergies of students or staff. You might check with the teacher or Settlement Worker, or principal about this.

If your child has a food allergy, please inform the school upon registering, or the teacher.

Nut Allergies

More and more students in Canada have severe allergies to nuts and would get very sick if they eat or are even exposed to food or containers or packages containing any amount of this food. To ensure the safety of these students, many schools have rules that ban all products that might contain or be touched by any nut products.

This is called a “nut free” policy. Please do not send any food or beverages containing nut products to school with your children.

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This article is an excerpt from the Newcomers' Guide to Elementary School.

Last updated: July 26, 2016 4006112