Vegetarian diet: There are different types of vegetarianism. Some vegetarians eat dairy products and eggs, some eat only dairy products, some eat only eggs, and some eat fish. People following a vegan diet do not eat any foods derived from animals including eggs, dairy products, gelatin, and honey. Vegetarians can eat a healthy diet by choosing fortified soy beverage as part of the Milk and Alternatives food group, and a variety of meat alternatives (e.g., beans, lentils, eggs, tofu, nuts, etc.) from the Meat and Alternatives food group.

Faith based diet: Given the variety of faith and cultural groups within Ontario, it is important that food and beverages provided to children and youth is in keeping with their faith, while still meeting the SNP Nutrition Guidelines.

Culturally appropriate diet: SNPs should make an effort to offer culturally appropriate foods that also meet the SNP Nutrition Guidelines.

Medically directed diet: Particular attention is required when providing food to children and youth with medical issues. Parents and caregivers are the best source of information for their child’s specific needs.

Food allergies and intolerances: Food Allergy Canada has more information about the differences between food allergy and food intolerance. In order to help keep children and youth with food allergies safe and feeling well, use these best practices:

SNPs in schools need to follow their School Board’s anaphylaxis policy. Anaphylaxis plans of children and youth with allergies should be shared with SNP program providers. For more information about food allergies in schools, consult your local School Board policies, and refer to the Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings 3rd Edition (Canadian Society or Allergy and Clinical Immunology – CSACI) or visit Food Allergy Canada.

Should any other special dietary requirements arise, contact a registered dietitian from the local public health unit or call Telehealth Ontario toll-free at 1-866-797-0000 to access free, evidence-based nutrition and healthy eating information from Registered Dietitians to help make informed choices about your health.

Good to Know!

Children, youth and their families/caregivers are the best sources of information about their specific dietary needs.