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Local Food Use and Food Literacy: What We Heard from Child Care and Student Nutrition Programs

Date: May 30th, 2019

Location: Online

This webinar is part of NRC’s Unpacking Food Literacy Series.

Presentation slides:

Early childhood is an important time to lay the groundwork for a healthy start for life. To contribute to the growing body of applied research on the development of healthy habits, The Nutrition Resource Centre at the Ontario Public Health Association collaborated with the Greenbelt Fund on a research project in partnership with the Food Innovation & Research Studio (FIRSt) at George Brown College (GBC) and the Helderleigh Foundation.

This webinar will highlight the findings of this research project, which investigated the knowledge, attitudes and awareness of local food use and food literacy, among food suppliers and caterers and key influencers of young children in Ontario. Results of an environmental scan of food literacy tools and resources being used to educate food providers and educators in early childhood settings as well as the resources used and supports needed to educate children and their parents and caregivers about local foods and healthy eating will be shared. These results can be used for future planning to promote the use of local food and food literacy activities in early child settings.

This webinar will also showcase a local public health program that has incorporated local food and food literacy into their child care and SNP. This story from the field will spark discussion about the challenges, barriers, and successes of local food literacy programming for children, and provide examples for other communities to learn from.

Learning Objectives

This webinar will help participants:

  • Understand the distribution of local food by suppliers and caterers to meal and snack programs serving young children.
  • Learn about attitudes towards local foods and food literacy among food providers of young children.
  • Understand the challenges, barriers and opportunities to providing local food and food literacy in early child settings.
  • Learn about resources used by or desired by food providers and educators of young children to incorporate local and healthy foods in their meal and snack programs and to support food literacy activities targeted to young children and their parents and caregivers.


About our Speakers:

Lynn Roblin is a Registered Dietitian and Senior Policy Consultant for the Nutrition Resource Centre where she focuses on building capacity and exchanging knowledge related to healthy eating, food literacy, and food and nutrition policies and interventions at the local and provincial level. Lynn has worked in public health and as a consultant developing healthy eating resources for consumers and health intermediaries for Dietitians of Canada, several Ontario ministries and Health Canada. She has co-authored several cookbooks as well as the Ontario Food and Nutrition Strategy. Lynn graduated from the University of Guelph with a BASc in Applied Human Nutrition and a MSc in Human Kinetics.

Jennelle Arnew, RD, MSc  was born and raised in the south western area of Ontario, and has been fortunate enough to return to Chatham-Kent, after her studies to pursue practice in public health. Jennelle is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s of Science Degree in Nutrition from Wayne State University in Michigan. She works on the Chronic Disease and Wellbeing team primarily with youth and young adults. Her role in public health focuses on strategies to promote improved health and well-being and collaborating with the many partners it takes to make this happen. Jennelle’s current projects focus on food policy support, food access and availability programs, food literacy, and development of a local food strategy.


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