Healthy Eating Toolkit
The Healthy Eating Toolkit (formerly Healthy Eating Manual) has been a trusted resource to promote healthy eating for over two decades. We are proud to provide this valuable resource for busy healthy professionals and community leaders like you.
The purpose of the Healthy Eating Toolkit is to:
- Convey messages from Canada’s Food Guide and Canada’s Dietary Guidelines
- Facilitate positive changes in eating attitudes, knowledge and behaviour
- Provide easy-to-use lessons for facilitators (including non-nutrition professionals)
- Be engaging and interactive for participants (based on principles of adult learning)
- Be adaptable for adult participants of all ages
What is in the Healthy Eating Toolkit?
The Healthy Eating Toolkit consists of five ready-to-go lessons based on key messages from Canada’s Food Guide:
- What does it mean to follow Canada’s Food Guide
- Vegetables and fruits
- Protein foods
- Whole grain foods
- Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat
What is included in a lesson?
Each lesson is comprised of a Facilitators Guide and an accompanying PowerPoint Presentation. They are ready-to-go and require little preparation time.
The lessons allow for flexibility in terms of the:
- Time to deliver the lesson (30 – 60 minutes)
- Amount of interaction with the audience (questions found in speaker’s notes)
- Number and types of activities
- Method of delivery (optional PowerPoint slides)
- Use of handouts
Each lesson contains 8 components:
- Goals and objectives
- Lesson outline
- Presentation tips
- Presenter material
- Participant handouts
- For more information
- Activities and worksheets
Who should use this toolkit?
The Healthy Eating Toolkit is designed for health professionals and community leaders who wish to incorporate evidence-based healthy eating information into their programming. It is not necessary to have formal nutrition training to use the toolkit.
Scripted speaker’s notes are provided along with links to credible sources for users to become familiar with the content they will deliver.
Who is the intended audience for the toolkit?
The toolkit is aimed at adults of all ages. The lessons are designed with flexibility for leaders to deliver the content at a pace that suits different adult audiences.
The lessons are designed for group settings such as worksites, recreational programs, fitness programs and other community-based programs.
The content is based on Canada’s Food Guide and is for general information only. We recommend letting your audience know that you will not be able to answer questions related to health concerns or dietary restrictions. Let participants know that they can seek dietary advice from a Registered Dietitian (such as through Telehealth Ontario, 1-866-797-0000).
Importance of activities
Activities allow participants to integrate new information and increase the chances that they will recall and use this new information in the future. The activities in the lessons appeal to different learning styles and different audiences. You know your audience best, so it is up to you to choose the type and number of activities that suit your participants.
There is variation with respect to the timing of the activities. Some require that all the content is delivered, while others must be initiated at the beginning of the lesson. Each lesson specifies when a particular activity should be incorporated (beginning, end, anytime). Many of the activities allow for additional flexibility. Feel free to customize the activities to suit your audience (cultural background, lifestage, etc.).
Aim to include the SMART Goal activity for each lesson. Setting and writing personal (smart) goals increases the chances that participants will follow through with making positive changes to their eating habits.
The Healthy Eating Toolkit assumes that you have some experience delivering group presentations. If you feel that you need to increase your knowledge and skill in this area, consider learning opportunities related to delivering group presentations.
The PowerPoint slides were thoughtfully developed but may be edited to suit your needs. Communication experts suggest that slides should include a meaningful image and few words (as opposed to providing cues for the speaker). If you choose to edit the text on the slides, we recommend using text from the speaker’s notes.
Participant questions are intended to actively engage participants and are an important element of the lessons. Adults learn best when they tap into prior knowledge while learning new information (best achieved through group discussion). Ensure adequate time for audience engagement.
- Share a bit about your profession or vocation with participants. Let them know that the information you will be delivering has been developed by Registered Dietitians.
- If participants get off track with the lesson content, steer them back. Let them know that specific healthy eating/nutrition questions are best answered by a Registered Dietitian (such as through Telehealth Ontario, 1866-797-0000)
- Aim to ensure that the group refrains from judgement with respect to the healthy eating beliefs, attitudes and practices of others
- Have your participants complete feedback forms to learn how to improve the delivery of the lessons
- Complete the facilitator feedback form and email it us at email@example.com. This will help us to know what improvements to make to the lesson in the toolkit.
Why is this toolkit no longer free?
At Nutrition Connections, our priority has always been our valuable stakeholders, such as yourself. We have faced several challenges over the years, including significant changes in our funding model.
We have strived to continue finding ways to provide products and services that benefit your practice, your clients and your career. In order to recover costs, we have chosen to make some products available at a fee.
As a charity, the proceeds from the sale of our resources and services is reinvested in the work that promotes public education on nutrition and healthy eating.
Toolkit Terms and Conditions
Use of Healthy Eating Toolkit
All content contained in the Healthy Eating Toolkit is to be used only by the individual or organization that purchases it. It may not be shared, sold or distributed in whole or in part.
Information contained in the Healthy Eating Toolkit should not be construed as clinical advice or be interpreted as a substitute for registered dietitian or physician consultation, evaluation, or treatment.