Health topic: Nutrition Health Promotion

Grow love for vegetables and fruit

What's it about?

This strategy gives centre stage to some of the healthiest food around: vegetables and fruit. It's about recognizing produce as an important part of school meal and snack programs, and getting students involved in opportunities to grow food at school. These are science-based ways of helping students to see vegetables and fruit as tasty and nutritious foods for every day.

Bonus: Once firmly rooted, your students' love for vegetables and fruit can last a lifetime.


What's involved?

Boost your school food program

If your school has a breakfast or lunch program, incorporate vegetables and fruit into every meal. Or if you're new to school food programming, start with a snack program on a daily, weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis. These programs are a great way to boost students’ intake of vegetables and fruit, and to support a school culture where produce is appreciated and enjoyed. Here are some tips:

  • Serve whole fruit like apples, bananas, or oranges.
  • Portion no-prep veggies (like baby carrots, sugar snap peas, or cherry tomatoes) into small compostable containers or bags for easy distribution.
  • Offer single servings of unsweetened apple sauce, fruit salad, or veggie and fruit-based smoothies.
  • Incorporate vegetables and fruits grown locally (like wild berries, root and leaf vegetables and dried fruits) and prepared using Indigenous methods.
  • In the winter, offer frozen or canned vegetables or fruit.
  • Serve produce with healthy dip options, like pre-packaged hummus, tzatziki, or yogurt-based fruit dip.
  • Take part in fun events or class challenges that promote vegetables and fruit, like “crunch days” or celebrations based on eating a variety of colours.

Vegetables for breakfast? Why not!

For tips to boost your breakfast program with vegetables and fruit, check out our School Breakfast Program Toolkit.

Get growing

Find ways for students to get involved in seeding, planting, weeding, or harvesting their own vegetables or fruit. Some Alberta schools have had success with models like:

  • Outdoor school gardens (or partnerships with nearby community gardens)
  • Edible schoolyard projects
  • Traditional Indigenous gardens (with sacred plants used for food, medicine, or spiritual purposes)
  • Indoor container gardens or tower gardens
  • Seed kits sent home with students
  • Partnerships with nearby farms (both urban and rural)
  • Learn about Indigenous gardening practices (with sacred plants used for food, medicine, or spiritual purposes


How it connects

When students are exposed to vegetables and fruit through school, they become more familiar with produce, more willing try it, and more likely to eat it. They also encourage family members at home to do the same.

As well, young people who learn to love vegetables and fruit are likely to make healthy food choices into adulthood.

Get inspired with Growing passion and purpose, the story of how one Alberta school community produces a large portion of their cafeteria's fresh organic food—everything from vegetables and herbs to lemons, pineapples, and figs.

You might also like these related topics:



Agriculture education K-12 resource
Government of Alberta 

Community school gardens
University of Alberta

School breakfast program toolkit
Alberta Health Services

Snack on fruit (poster)
Alberta Health Services

Snack on vegetables (poster)
Alberta Health Services


CMS Shortcuts
 Edit Page
 Edit in CMS