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Every year, teachers who are using one of the BC Dairy Association (BCDA) programs can apply for a grant. In the 2016-2017 school year, we awarded 179 grants to teachers across BC who successfully completed the application by sharing how they would use the money to complement the BCDA program they were teaching.

Top 10 FAQ about Mini Food Grants

1) Who can apply?

2) Do I have to teach a specific nutrition education program to be eligible?

3) Do I need to order BCDA nutrition materials to be eligible?

4) What do I need to include in my application?

5) Do I need to bring in foods from all four Food Groups?

6) How else can I strengthen my application?

7) Can the food be used to help feed hungry children at my school?

8) How have other teachers used their grant?  

9) How can I apply?

10) What happens if my application is not successful?

1) Who can apply?

Teachers instructing at any grade level (Kindergarten–Grade 12) can apply if they are teaching one of our nutrition education programs.

2) Do I have to teach a specific nutrition education program to be eligible?

As long as you are using any of our programs you are eligible to apply:

http://bcdairy.ca/nutritioneducation/workshops/

http://bcdairy.ca/nutritioneducation/programs/

3) Do I need to order BCDA nutrition materials to be eligible?

If you are planning to teach a program that requires materials, you need to have ordered the corresponding materials for the 2017-2018 year in order to be eligible:

Food Explorers/ Les explorateurs d'aliments (K-1)Food For Us!/ Des aliments pour nous! (2-3)Food Sense/ Bien manger (4-6)Passport to Healthy Living/ Passeport pour une vie saine (4-7)Bone Zone (5-8)

Note: Bone Zone materials can be ordered or downloaded.

If you are teaching a program or lesson plan that doesn’t require ordering materials, please contact us to find out what you’ll need to be eligible. Examples include:

Titanium Chef/ Le chef Titane (6-8)BC At The Table (8-12)How Well Do You Think You Eat (8-12) 

4) What do I need to include in my application?

If you are teaching the Food Explorers program, tell us which recipes you plan to explore from package A or B.

For other programs, share how you’ll be using food to enhance the lessons from the BCDA program that you will be teaching. We don’t need you to reinvent the wheel. There are suggested extension activities in the teacher guides and lesson plans designed to enhance the nutrition education programs. A minimum of two food groups needs to be included in order to be eligible for the grant.

Grant funding will vary depending on the program you are teaching and the food activities planned. Teachers are eligible for one grant per school year, up to a maximum of $150.

Below are sample applications from each of our core programs that include the elements of what we’d like to see in an application:

Food Explorers (K-Gr.1)

I plan to have the class:

  • taste a variety of apples
  • bake potatoes and make potato pancakes
  • do a bread tasting
  • discuss different types of pasta and make macaroni and cheese
  • talk about where milk comes from during my farm unit and make smoothies with fruit and milk
  • talk about different types of cheese and make quesadillas
  • make frittatas to enhance the egg lesson
  • cook a nice warm chili during the winter using lean ground beef, kidney beans, and chickpeas

All the recipes discussed above come from package A. Students will be encouraged to help with food preparation. All of the students will be exposed to the foods in a positive environment. They will not be pressured to try anything, but will have the opportunity to taste or experience the foods through observation.

Food For Us! (Gr. 2-3)

1) Grain products lesson: We will make bread by using the Making Bread and Butter lesson plan.

2) Meat and alternatives lesson: We will make homemade trail mix with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries. Not only will the students be exposed to an example of meat alternatives, this will also be a great example to illustrate a healthy snack and a combination food in later lesson plans.

3) Balanced meal lesson: We will have a pizza lunch where we make individual english muffin pizzas using all four food groups. 

During all of the food exploration, student and parent volunteers will help with preparation. Everyone will have an opportunity to taste the food but no one will be forced to try anything. Simply being around the food and watching others enjoy it is a positive food experience for students.

Food Sense (Gr. 4-6)

1) In lesson 2: To demonstrate an example of Foods to Limit (foods that we use in small amounts or don't eat very often) we'll make 3-2-1 dressing and each student will have the opportunity to dip a spinach leaf in the homemade salad dressing (and eat it, if desired!). 

2) In lesson 4: We will taste a sampling of foods from all four Food Groups, including apples and baby carrots (Vegetables and Fruit), yogurt (Milk and Alternatives), whole grain crackers (Grain Products), and mixed seeds (Meat and Alternatives). We will identify how much of each food equals one serving to increase understanding of meeting the minimums for each Food Group. 

3) In lesson 5: We'll make yogurt sundaes as an example of a combination food and discuss what Food Group each food belongs to and what the reference amount is that counts towards "meeting our minimums" for our daily Food Guide servings (which makes up their "code").

During all of the food exploration, student and parent volunteers will help with preparation. Everyone will have an opportunity to taste the food but no one will be forced to try anything. Simply being around the food and watching others enjoy it is a positive food experience for students.

Passport to Healthy Living (Gr. 4-7)

1) Planning the hike (lesson 3): We will make the homemade granola bars from the student booklet recipe as an example of an environmentally friendly snack that can be packed on our hike or brought to school.

2) Packing a balanced lunch (lesson 4): We will make tasting portions of hummus wraps from the student booklet recipe and serve with sliced bell peppers and carrots (providing 3 out of the 4 Food Groups) as an example of a balanced and foodsafe lunch that could be packed for our hike or brought to school.

3) Go on the hike (lesson 5): We will pack thermoses of warm milk with cinammon to warm us up while we have our lunch on the winter hike. Packing hot or cold milk in a thermos is an example of a foodsafe and environmentally friendly way to include milk as part of a balanced meal or healthy snack both on the hike and at school. 

During all of the food exploration, student and parent volunteers will help with preparation. Everyone will have an opportunity to taste the food but no one will be forced to try anything. Simply being around the food and watching others enjoy it is a positive food experience for students.

5) Do I need to include foods from all four food groups?

If you’re applying to use money for one of the programs, please explain how you will use the money to explore at least two food groups, and ideally, all four. If you’re applying to use money to enhance a lesson plan that doesn’t address all areas of healthy eating, please show how you plan on using foods that are relevant for that lesson (for example including calcium-rich foods in the Bone Zone program). Consider referring to Kitchen Equipment for your Classroom for tips on how to incorporate different foods into your classroom.

6) How else can I strengthen my application?

Be sure to mention how you will use one or more of the following key nutrition principles:

  • Use a neutral approach with food: There is a great deal of research to support using a neutral approach when discussing Foods to Limit (those high in fat, salt and or sugar), rather than identifying some of these choices as “junk food." Food is one of the great pleasures in life and if we label certain foods as bad, we inadvertently make those foods even more desirable!
  • making doughAvoid food rewards: There is good evidence to show the benefit of avoiding the use of bribes to encourage good behaviour. Find out more about this concept here.
  • Offer opportunities to taste without pressure: When it comes to food in the classroom, it’s a good idea to allow all children an equal opportunity to taste, without pressure to have "just one bite." Let each child decide if he/she will taste a food or not. 
  • Use commonly available foods: Exploring affordable and readily available foods further strengthens nutrition education. As such, it is strongly suggested to avoid using expensive and/or rare foods (such as dragonfruit). Here are some popular recipes, using commonly available foods, that teachers have successfully introduced in the classroom:

         White bean and feta hummus

         Bob's bean salad

         Rola's berry refreshing smoothie

         Nutty hot chocolate

         Shake a pudding

         Dilly dip

         Checkerboard tuna sandwich

  • Use age-appropriate activities: As with any other subject, using age-appropriate interventions support behaviour change and life-long learning. A good example of this is the Food Explorers program, which provides K-1 children with hands-on experiences and pressure-free opportunities to taste a variety of Food Group foods. It is designed to give them the best chance at making healthy behaviour changes. Content such as Food Group classification, reading labels, and Food Guide serving size estimation is important, but best suited for older students. 

Consult your teacher guide for more on the above principles and always feel free to get in touch with us at nutrition@bcdairy.ca to learn more.

7) Can the food be used to help feed hungry children at my school?

Unfortunately, this grant is modest and is intended for educational purposes. It is in no way intended for, or capable of, addressing food security concerns.

8) How have other teachers used their grant?  

Teachers from across BC share their stories with us every year. Here’s a taste. 

9) How can I apply?

If you are planning to teach a BCDA nutrition education program in the 2017-2018 school year, keep your eye out for the next intake, beginning in late December 2017/early January 2018. 

10) What happens if my application is not successful?

If your application was complete but you were not successful, we will send you a letter explaining why. You’ll have another chance to apply for funding.

For any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us at us at nutrition@bcdairy.ca.

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  • I would really like to apply for a mini-food grant for my class. Most of my students are low income families. Some students have very little to eat. I would like to provide them some nutritional food and sho... more
    I would really like to apply for a mini-food grant for my class. Most of my students are low income families. Some students have very little to eat. I would like to provide them some nutritional food and show them what can be used to supplement/enhance their eating patterns. Often they do not know many types of fruit or vegetables because they eat a lot of Kraft dinner. Thank you for sending me the application. less
  • The next round of grant applications will be open late December 2015 with a deadline of Wed, January 27th, 2016. A survey link will be posted in this article with directions once applications are being accepted... more
    The next round of grant applications will be open late December 2015 with a deadline of Wed, January 27th, 2016. A survey link will be posted in this article with directions once applications are being accepted. If you've already ordered materials for this school year, you should also receive an email from us alerting you about the next round. Please let us know if you have any other questions. less
  • Hi I would like to apply for a mini-food grant. Is there a template that can be used to apply for the grant? And where do I apply for the grant? Thank you, for offering this for teachers.
  • Thanks so much for having these food grants available. It gives us, as educators, the opportunity to offer a variety of different foods to students to support the lessons within your programs.
  • Thank you for bringing nutrition education alive in your classroom with your students Judy! We're so glad to know the program is working so well for you.
  • I have been using the Food Explorers program for the past 6 years and love it! The students love it too. We always taste apples and make applesauce; try different types of bread; make fruit smoothies; make yog... more
    I have been using the Food Explorers program for the past 6 years and love it! The students love it too. We always taste apples and make applesauce; try different types of bread; make fruit smoothies; make yogourt pops; and make meat, cheese, and veggie kabobs. We use the pages to make a nutrition book and the pouch for the recipe cards. The students love taking them home. I have had the grant in the past and it certainly helps with the cost of purchasing all the ingredients. Thank you for this great program and the opportunity to receive money towards the supplies to make it more beneficial for the students. Judy less

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