WRHA Healthy Eating Environments Guideline

Healthy Eating Environments logo.

With poor nutrition being recognized as a significant health threat, the promotion of healthy eating is a priority within our organization. In an effort to lead by example, a regional Healthy Eating Environments Guideline has been developed to support all WRHA sites in creating healthy eating environments for staff, volunteers, students and visitors. The guideline applies to all sites that operate commercial food and/or retail services, including cafeterias, coffee shops, gift shops, vending and staff ordering catering.

The development of the guideline and its associated nutrition standards and procedures follows several years of research and coordination. Extensive consultation was undertaken with numerous WRHA sites and committees, food service contractors, dietitian groups and via an online survey in November 2015 (WRHA staff, volunteers and students). Overall, these consultations demonstrated support for adopting a healthy eating environments initiative within the Region. The guideline also aligns with the Healthy Eating Position Statement.

The guideline will be phased in gradually over a number of years to allow staff and vendors ample time to adjust. The first phase was launched in the first quarter of 2018, and focuses on the promotion of healthy foods and increasing their availability.

For more information, contact:


WRHA Healthy Eating Environments Guideline

WRHA Healthy Eating Environments Nutrition Standards and Procedures- Phase 1

Healthy Eating Environments Policy Consultation Feedback

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

WRHA Healthy Eating Position Statement


WRHA sites submitted baseline assessments in Spring/Summer 2018. The overall results of the 11 hospital sites are summarized in the infographic below. Based on the overall WRHA baseline assessment results, sites are encouraged to work towards the following in the 2019/2020 fiscal year:

  1. Promote and provide a higher proportion of healthier packaged foods in vending machines and gift shops.
  2. Decrease the portion sizes of deep-fried foods available in cafeterias and offer healthy alternatives for deep-fried side items.
  3. Promote and provide healthier beverage options in cafeterias, coffee shops, vending and gift shops.

Sites will be asked to submit another self-assessment in Spring 2020. One is not required in 2019.

Baseline Assessment 2018 Overall WRHA Results

Next Steps for WRHA Sites Phase 1 2019/2020

Implementation Tools

Implementation Guide - Phase 1

Annual Reporting Template

Packaged Products Meeting Smart Pick & WRHA Nutrition Criteria


The Smart Pick Program is a healthier vending program designed to help customers easily identify healthier snacks and beverages in vending machines. It was developed by a registered dietitian, contracted by the Canadian Automatic Merchandising Association, and is accessible to member vending companies across Canada.

Smart Pick snacks meet the following nutrition criteria per package:

  • 250 calories or less
  • 10 g of total fat or less (nuts and seeds exempt)
  • 0 g of trans fat
  • 15 g of sugar or less (fruit without added sugar exempt)If you see less than 20% of the products in the vending machines at your site filled with Smart Pick compliant products, ask Quality Vending or your vending supplier to increase this percentage to at least 20%.
  • 250 mg of sodium or less

As part of the Healthy Eating Environments Guideline Phase 1, 20% of the snacks in WRHA vending machines are Smart Pick snacks, and will gradually increase to 50% as sales and customer demand grow. Buy Smart Pick snacks to support this program and increase demand!

Snacks are identified with the Smart Pick logo - an apple with a checkmark. Look for some of the following Smart Pick snacks in vending machines at your WRHA site!

  • Martin's Apple Chips
  • Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps
  • Vitali-t Lightly Salted Pistachios
  • KIND bars

For WRHA sites:

  • If you find products that are labelled incorrectly, notify the HEEG team (HEEG@wrha.mb.ca) and your site's vending supplier so they can correct it. Errors undermine consumer confidence in the Smart Pick program, so it is important that products are labelled correctly. Examples of incorrect labelling:
    • non-Smart Pick compliant products labelled with the Smart Pick logo
    • Smart Pick compliant products that are not labelled with the logo.

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Traditional Territories Acknowledgement
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
Click here to read more about the WRHA's efforts towards reconciliation

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