School Toolkit

  1. As a principal, what do I need to know?
  2. What do I need to know about food safety?
  3. What are other schools doing?
  4. What foods should I serve?
  5. Need more info? Contact your CDC.

1. As a principal, what do I need to know?

Adhere to the School Breakfast Program Operating Guidelines

At the beginning of each school year principals at participating schools will be sent a copy of the “School Breakfast Program Operating Guidelines” from the Director of the ONFE-School Breakfast Program.  These Operating Guidelines are based on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services Student Nutrition Program Guidelines and are agreed upon by the ONFE School Breakfast Program and your School Board.  You are required to read and return a signed copy of the Operating Guidelines, and in so doing the principal agrees to adhere to them.  The key components of the Operating Guidelines are below.

a)  Read and follow the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Student Nutrition Program - Nutrition Guidelines 2008, paying particular attention to:

  • Guiding Principles; pp. 3 - 5
  • Nutrition Guidelines; pp. 5 – 12 (pay special attention to Page 12 “Do Not Serve”)
  • General Guidelines; pp. 13-17 (pay special attention to Page 14 “Safe Food Storage and Handling”)

 Click here for the MCYS Student Nutrition Guidelines

b)  Inform Parents/Guardians - The program is non-stigmatizing and does not single out participating children or youth; all children/youth have the opportunity to participate. Parents/guardians should be informed about the availability of the program and also be given the opportunity to contribute to the program through time and /or financial contributions.  

c) Register Students - Registration is strongly encouraged. However, students should never be denied access to the program if they have not been registered.   For high schools, some of the suggested wording in the following resources can be used in announcements, on school web sites or newsletters to raise awareness and remind students of the program's availability.

  Click here for samples of registration forms and wording:

d) Track and Report Program Participation - Accurate collection and recording of daily student participation numbers must be undertaken at each school. Participation is reported monthly to the School Breakfast Program. Click here for different tracking methods, daily tracking sheet templates and weekly tracking sheet templates .

e)  Build a Team to Operate the Program Designate a Program Coodinator to coordinate/run daily program operations.  Ensure that your Program Coordinator has adequate staff and volunteer support (e.g. parents, EAs, teachers, community volunteers, OAs, custodians).  Training is offered each fall and individual training, and is always available through your Community Development Coordinator.

f)  Adhere to Program Operation Dates and Frequency of Service Requirements - Begin your program as soon as possible after the start of the school year and end it not earlier than 2 weeks before the last day of the school year.  All programs must operate 5 days/week throughout the school year. 

g)  Follow Financial Restrictions, Adhere to Program Budget and Report Expenses - Ensure you stay within your allocated budget.  Use allocated nutrition funds exclusively for School Breakfast Program food purchases and daily supplies (e.g. food wrap, soap).  Submit monthly expenditure reports and copies of receipts to the School Breakfast Program.  

NOTE: Equipment of any kind may not be purchased with nutrition funds.  All equipment requests are handled separately.  Contact your Community Development Coordinator for information.  Click here for information on the equipment requesting process

There may be a need for school-level fundraising to support your program if funding is insufficient. Click here for fundraising ideas and tips.

h)  Ensure My Program Coordinator Knows What To Do – This checklist helps the Program Coordinator to understand their responsibilities and the program’s requirements. Program Coordinator’s checklist.


2. What do I need to know about food safety?

All School Breakfast Program schools are subject to inspections by Ottawa Public Health.  It is important to ensure the highest sanitary practices for safe food handling.  Click on the following resources for more information.

Safe Food Handling Posters. Colourful food safety posters created by Ottawa Public Health on the following topics are available for printing. Chill, Clean, Cook, Facts, Separate

3. What are other schools doing?

Each school has its own unique characteristics. Find out how other schools deliver their programs.

4. What foods should I serve?

Healthy foods feed healthy minds and bodies. Here are some resources:

5. Need more info? Contact your CDC.

Jane Murr –

Suzanne de Abreu –

Stephanie Nelson –

Ashley McEvoy –

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Contact Us

Carolyn Hunter
Director, Ottawa School Breakfast Program
613 366-3085 ext. 254

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