Learning English

School Cafeterias: Level 1 transcript

CLB, 4

Hi!  I'm Don Bell, and you're listening to Learning English with CBC. This week, a story about how the diets of Canadian children are slowly changing and how government rules can help encourage healthy eating.

CBC journalist Raffi Boudjikanian was at St. Teresa of Calcutta School in Edmonton at lunch time.  Kids there know that food is important.  This school gets its meals from a non-profit organization, and the menu has lots of choices that are kid-friendly, meaning children love all the food they can choose from. Those choices are also healthy and make sure the children get the nutrition they need. 

Barb Spencer is part of the school lunch program. She told CBC that the kids at the school really like the choices including, carrots, sandwiches, and tacos.

Boudjikanian described a new Canadian study of 7,000 students or their parents over 11 years showed school children are developing better eating habits, like eating more fruits and vegetables. 

Claire Tugault-Lafleur from the University of British Columbia explained that Canadian children are also eating less calories from junk foods.  She added that this is only a small improvement, and the diets of children in Canada could still improve a lot.

Boudjikanian added that some of the improvements come from government policies limiting which beverages or foods can be sold on school property. Canada introduced a new food guide in January, but it's just a guide. There is no national food policy.  A national policy is hard when schools are controlled by provinces.  For the kids of St. Teresa, better nutrition is a no-brainer.  The federal Liberals included a national school food program in their budget this year, but there has not been any money to support the plan so far.