Nutrition Program

Snack Program (Ontario Student Nutrition Program)

 The snack program is a volunteer-run program offering healthy snacks to all students each day during the first nutrition break.  A team of volunteers prepares healthy snacks inspired by “Canada’s Food Guide”. All snacks are peanut-free and include two or three food groups. All other allergies are also considered within the program.

Serving healthy snacks to children is important to providing good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping to prevent costly and potentially disabling diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. It gives our students a positive start to the day which hopes to improve learning abilities, decrease absenteeism, and improve social skills.

The snacks are offered entirely free of cost to the students. Oxford County Nutrition Partnership and United Way of Oxford fund most of the cost. We also welcome money donations toward the purchase of fruits and vegetables.

Successful programs require a community effort of many volunteers and donations from our school community to help maintain our snack program. A yearly fundraiser is held to enhance the funding for the program.

If you would like to contribute to the snack program, please make cheques payable to Oliver Stephens and send them in an envelope marked, “Snack Program Donation”.

I give an incredible thanks to our past and present volunteers for the job’s well done. Also, thank you to all individuals who have made donations of money and food


Thank you for your support!

Rhonda Crouse Snack Program Coodinator 

Eat Right and Stay Bright!


Raising Awareness about Food Allergies

 Dairy allergies

Cow’s milk is the most common food allergy in children. Approximately 2.5 percent of children are allergic to the proteins found in dairy products. Dairy is not a major allergen for adults, and most children will develop a tolerance to milk by the time they reach school age.

If you are allergic to cow’s milk you will also need to avoid goat or sheep milk. All grazing mammals produce milk with similar proteins that can cause cross-reactions for people with dairy allergies.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction to dairy usually appear within minutes to two hours of eating dairy products or food containing dairy ingredients.

Symptoms may include: Skin reactions such as hives or eczema. Allergic conjunctivitis (“pink eye”) is itchy, red, watery eyes. Gastrointestinal reactions such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Airways symptoms are wheezing or coughing or runny nose. Angioedema which is swelling of lips, tongue, or face.

Dairy allergies may cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.


Peanut allergies

Food allergies are a serious issue affecting approximately six percent of all children, according to Health Canada. To reduce the likelihood of allergic reactions in the classroom, most schools have policies that restrict certain at-risk foods. When severely allergic children are exposed to even the tiniest amount of at-risk foods they can experience life-threatening anaphylactic reactions.

To be aware of the risks become familiar with your child’s school policy on food allergens and appropriate school-safe foods. Identify the kids in your child’s peer group or class who suffer from food allergies and learn how to respond in the event of a reaction. Read the ingredients list on food products. While peanut butter is a clear no-no, surprise allergens can also be found from seed on bread or other manufactured goods. Look for the peanut-free label on snacks and lunch items.

Some food manufactures have made it easy for parents to identify products that are classroom safe by including a peanut-free logo on the front of the box. Grocery retailers are also making a concerted effort to offer a larger assortment of peanut-free products to Canadians. In addition, some grocery retailers offer peanut-free products in their fresh baked section of the store.



Celiac Disease Defined

When someone with celiac disease eats gluten-containing foods, immune cells attack the gut lining, damaging the structures responsible for absorbing nutrients. The only treatment for the autoimmune condition – a sort of gut allergy to a component of the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, and rye – is to avoid foods containing these grains. Since substances made from them are used as fillers and flavouring in everything from soups and sauces to potato chips, going gluten-free isn’t nearly as simple as just cutting out bread and pasta. Gluten can also be hidden in non-food items; for example, it’s found in some lipsticks and is used as filler in certain medications.

In the short-term, this can cause symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea; in the long run, it can lead to malnutrition and health problems such as infertility and osteoporosis.

Research suggests at least one per cent of North Americans have celiac disease, with the majority going undiagnosed. It’s likely that an even greater number have gluten intolerance, a condition in which gluten exposure products similar short-term symptoms, but no intestinal damage.