Every year, teachers who are using one of the BC Dairy Association (BCDA) programs can apply for a grant. In the 2015-2016 school year, we awarded 140 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
Teachers instructing at any grade level (Kindergarten–Grade 12) can apply if they are teaching one of our nutrition education programs.
As long as you are using any of our programs you are eligible to apply:
If you are planning to teach a program that requires ordering materials, you need to have ordered materials for the 2016-2017 year in order to be eligible:
Bone Zone (5-8) (optional; can also be 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:
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; that’s why we have suggested extension activities in the teacher guides and lesson plans designed to enhance the nutrition education programs.
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.
Here are two examples of what we’d like to see in an application:
I have completed the Food Explorers workshop and I plan to use the food grant to explore the foods in package A and to try some recipes outlined in the program. I have ordered my new teaching materials for the 2016-2017 school year.
I plan to have the class:
All the recipes discussed above come from package A in Food Explores and 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!:
I’ve taken the Grade 2-3 Food for Us! nutrition education workshop and ordered the teaching materials for this school year. To reinforce the program outcomes, I plan to use the mini food grant money during the following lessons:
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, raisins, 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 our own pizzas using all four food groups.
During all of the food exploration, I’ll have student and parent volunteers 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).
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!
- Avoid 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:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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.
Teachers from across BC share their stories with us every year. Here’s a taste.
The application period is now closed for fall grants, but will re-open again in January. Fall grants will be awarded by the end of October.
For any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us at us at email@example.com.
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 in January 2017.
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