NSTEP (Nutrition, Students, Teachers, Exercising with Parents)

NSTEP (Nutrition Students Teachers Exercising with Parents) our name says it all, we are on a mission to educate and motivate, children, teachers and parents to EAT more of the Four Food Groups, WALK more everyday, LIVE longer!

Grade 7 students with U of C's Faculty of Nursing practicum studentsOur Story Why We Exist

Bruce had seen so many sugary lunches and snacks come into his new school (St. Peter); he decided he needed a program to help ALL 331 students learn WHY healthy eating and activity will help the students do better at school. He called NSTEP in February 2015 and with generous funding from Rotary Club of Sarcee for St. Peter School, small changes cumulatively gave BIG results.

“I thought it was a good way to learn about healthy choices and eating nutritious food and that how your actions effect (sic) your life. I also like being part of the “healthy Ninjas’ because we all are showing our younger students healthy choices” 

  • - Grade 6 Student on WHY they looked forward to coming to school and being part of the student wellness team, Erin Woods Healthy Ninja’s Calgary

St. Peter school principal Bruce Campbell knew he needed NSTEP at his school. Bruce had witnessed the change at St. Clare where he was Assistant Principal during the implementation of NSTEP in 2011. The behavioural changes he saw in his students were:

  • healthier lunches and snacks
  • increased activity outdoors at recess and lunch
  • increase in drinking water not sugar sweetened beverages
  • student engagement with the student wellness team “Healthy Ninja’s" name at St. Peter school

EAT! Snack Attack healthy snacks deliver delicious and healthy snacks!Our Impact What We Do

In 2002 the World Health Organization stated that this is the first generation of children who will die before their parents of preventable nutritional diseases.

This was the inspiration for ‘NSTEP - a grassroots school and community based program with a mission to educate and motivate people to EAT better WALK more LIVE longer.

WHY?  1.6 million Canadian children are overweight or obese-31% Let’s change this statistic!

  • NSTEP’s goal is for kids to have healthy habits 4 LIFE, so they don’t suffer from chronic diseases associated with being overweight or obese such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease cancer and many more.

Started in Calgary ‘NSTEP has grown into 3 different provinces, 12 different school districts impacting over 10,000 children last year.

  • Education is the key. ‘NSTEP’s has an elementary program called ‘NSTEP EAT WALK LIVE and a junior high program called ‘NSTEP Teen Brain.


  • Provide support to students five times a year and visit with teachers eight times a year.
  • 57% increase with 10,045 children and youth served by our community/school programs.
  • NSTEP in multiple languages: French, Mandarin, Spanish ,Tsuu T'ina, and English.
  • 3,455 volunteer hours for students, teachers, schools and communities in AB, BC, and ON.

Grandpa Ron McFarland 'NSTEP Running Room Race June 4, 2011Our Programs How We Do It

Our goal: to have healthy habits 4 kids for life so they don’t suffer from chronic diseases associated with being overweight or obese. Our vision: no childhood obesity in Canada by 2025. ‘NSTEP works directly in schools to inspire teachers, students, and parents to make small, simple changes for lifelong health benefits.

The strategy to accomplish this bold ambition is to continue to collaborate with like-minded organizations, corporations, so that our efforts can be multiplied.

  • ’NSTEP EAT WALK LIVE* school-based program provides support within a comprehensive school health framework to build healthier school communities. Our innovative strategy of individual classroom support, integration of all lessons into Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts builds capacity at the school level. 
  • This year we launched Chef on ‘NSTEP to teach food preparation skills to children including physical activity. The YMCA in both Calgary and Surrey has been a financial supporter of this initiative and we see this expanding in other communities.


*NSTEP EAT WALK LIVE builds sustainability and capacity through professional development for teaching staff and classroom follow-up visits. Through fun and interactive games tailored to each grade, students learn about nutrition and physical activity. These games and activities are taught by both the teacher and ‘NSTEP coordinators.

Students also participate in Snack Attacks, where student leaders from upper level classes (grades 4+) are taught how to make a healthy snack. These student leaders then go teach their class, who then go and share their knowledge with their little buddies in K-3. This fosters a positive learning environment and student leadership within the school community.

Calgary Running Room Charity Walk Run April 2010Our Requests What You Can Do

Join us in educating, mentoring, initiating NSTEP in more Calgary and area schools. Our full year program costs $24.00 per student, a TWOONIE a month.

If we had 12,000 people donate a TWOONIE a month that would bring NSTEP EAT WALK LIVE*  to 1,000 more children; if 24,000 people donated a TWOONIE a month that would mean 2,000 more children would have the benefits of NSTEP for a full year.

Donate on line at www.nstep.ca through Running Room, Goodpin or Canada Helps


We could not help students become healthy without the generous financial support of all of our funders and stakeholders; from the bottom of our hearts, we THANK YOU for your support!


Deb Hymers
NSTEP Founder and Director
Charitable Number: 817942949RR0001

Donate Now