I asked Ali for an interview because I knew that she had recently transitioned from one school to another, giving her a broad perspective of what kids are facing when it comes to healthy eating. She’s worked with recently immigrated children, which I think gives her an insight that we might not all have.
She hit a home run with these answers.
What barriers to healthy eating do you see children in schools face?
Some schools have access to food banks and free healthy meals but there are many that don’t have the access. There were students at a school I worked at recently who weren’t fed breakfast or given snacks for recess time. Then they would go home to eat [and have] very little at lunch which would affect their behavior and performance in school.
This school had a breakfast program but many parents were too proud to send the children to accept the food.
School nutrition programs are a crucial part of providing Canadian youth with adequate food. Presently, Canada is the only G8 country without a national school nutrition program.