Subject: Healthy Schools Connection Newsletter - February 2019

Volume 19 Issue 1
SCHOOL First Concussion Support for Schools

Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury that can affect many aspects of a youth’s life, including school. While it is becoming a requirement for many school boards to develop, maintain and implement concussion policies to support students’ return-to-school after a concussion, it is no easy task. 

SCHOOLFirst is an evidence based toolkit that has been developed to help teachers and other school personnel to support youth upon their return-to-school after a concussion. 

This toolkit will:

  • Help you understand your role as a concussion campion
  • Provide you with ideas on how to support students with a concussion
  • Link you to resources to help you build your concussion knowledge
  • Provide you with a planning tool to identify the steps and examples of how to integrate the students back into school activities in a safe and successful way.
For more information and to get your free toolkit, please go to
Release of Canada’s New Food Guide

The updated guide focuses more on “how to eat” than “how much” and emphasizes that “healthy eating is more than the foods you eat.” You can view it online in English and French.

Major changes to the guide include:
  • The meat and dairy categories have been combined as “Protein Foods,” along with nuts, seeds, tofu, legumes, eggs, and fish
  • Plain milk and unsweetened plant-based beverages are still considered healthy drinks
  • Prescriptive food guide servings have been removed, and instead the guide focuses on plate proportions
Key Messages for Schools:
  • Many different eating patterns can be appropriate
  • The best available evidence suggests that people eat a variety of foods, vegetables and fruit, other sources of fibre, as well as sources of protein, calcium and iron.
  • There is no single “right” way to eat. Individual nutrition needs are different, as are their food environments and food preferences.
For more information contact:
Julie Slack, MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian (Atikokan)
(807) 597-6871 ext. 310713


Chelsea Socholotuk, RD
Registered Dietitian (Kenora)
(807) 468--3147 ext. 301243

School Food Programs Update

Student Nutrition Program: Schools across the region crunched on carrots this January after receiving locally grown carrots to support their snack or meal program. Participating schools will also be receiving pancake mixes from Brule Creek out of Kakabeka Falls that have been reformulated to meet the nutrition guidelines, as well as unsweetened applesauce that has been generously donated by Motts and Breakfast Clubs of Canada! Both initiatives have been supported by Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op and Emo feeds. Participating schools have also been provided with funding and egg coupons from Egg Farmers of Canada and Egg Farmers of Ontario.

Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program: Since January all K-8 schools across the region have been receiving fruit and vegetables once per week, through a partnership of Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and the NWHU. The goal of the program is to increase consumption and awareness of fruits and vegetables among elementary school students in Northern Ontario.

Free Dental Care

Students with dental problems can have a hard time eating, concentrating, and learning. Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) provides preventive and essential dental care to children of low-income families. If you have a student who may benefit from these services, please refer them to us. Their parent/guardian can contact us at any NWHU office or by calling 1-855-407-6453. Our dental team will help them find out whether they are eligible for free dental services.

TRYPS Youth Funding Opportunity
The Northwest Tobacco Control Area Network is accepting proposals for the 2019 Tobacco Reduction in Youth Partnerships (TRYPs). This is an opportunity for any youth serving agency (youth aged 12+) to apply for up to $1000 in funding to promote tobacco prevention and healthy lifestyles in young people. Young adult organizations (18-25) are also encouraged to apply. There is no deadline other than funding provided this year must be deposited by December 31st, 2019. Activities can take place before or after depending on approval. If your school is dedicated to the well-being and health of young people, especially if that includes creating smoke-free spaces to play or educating about the differences between sacred and commercial tobacco this may be an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Click the proposal link here:
NEW Healthy Living through Drama resource for 9-12 students from OPHEA

This new resource has been developed to support secondary educators in planning and exploring innovative approaches to teaching healthy living through drama-based activities. The resource includes a series of activities, and sample assessment strategies and tools.
Find out more about this new Resource.

School greening grants – now open

If you are interested in planting shade trees at your school, the 2019 Greening Canada’s School Grounds program is open for applications. Applications close on March 1st, 2019

If you are interested in planting edible trees at your school, apply for an Edible Trees grant
The 2019 Edible Trees program is open for applications. Applications close on March 1st, 2019

Connecting for Healthy Schools

NWHU staff can support schools to become healthier places to live, work and play. Check out our Connecting for Healthy Schools resource to learn all the ways we can partner with your school! Contact your local health unit or email to request a printed copy of this resource.

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Share your Healthy School success stories and receive a prize pack for your school! Stories can be emailed to
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Northwestern Health Unit, 210 First Street North, P9N2K4, Kenora, Canada
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