Healthy Kids Community Challenge Launches Healthier Eating Initiative
Leeds and Grenville is launching the Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit initiative to encourage kids and families to eat healthier and to make vegetables and fruits part of their everyday lives.
Whether fresh, frozen or canned, fruits and vegetables help provide children and families with the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and overall energy needed to be physically active.
Local programs and activities will encourage families in Leeds and Grenville to include more fruits and vegetables in every meal and snack. Upcoming events include:
- The Veggies n’ Fruit Community Boost Initiative will make it easier for kids and families in Leeds and Grenville to access vegetables and fruits throughout the day. Funding of up to $5,000 is available to non-profit groups or individuals for innovative projects that promote children’s consumption of vegetables and fruits and create supportive environments for healthy eating. We encourage the community to get creative when submitting their ideas.
Apply to the Veggies n’ Fruit Community Boost Initiative by May 19, 2017, at www.healthykidslg.ca.
- Throughout the summer and fall months, Healthy Kids Community Challenge will be participating in local events taking place in communities across the counties. There will be lots of fun activities planned to engage children and families in the Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit theme.
Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit is the next phase of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, which promotes healthy eating, physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices for children. As part of the first phase, Run, Jump, Play, Every Day., Leeds and Grenville introduced the Community Project Fund and the Movin’ and Groovin’ Dance Challenge. These initiatives increased physical activity opportunities for children across Leeds and Grenville. As part of the second phase, Water Does Wonders, Leeds and Grenville implemented the Community Water Bottle Filling Station Initiative. This initiative increased access to water as the natural, healthy choice for children and families in 24 sites (e.g., schools, community hubs), across Leeds and Grenville.
Encouraging kids to stay active and healthy is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care, which provides patients with faster access to the right care; better home and community care; the information they need to live healthy; and a health care system that is sustainable for generations to come.
“As parents, we all want to give our kids the best. When planning meals and snacks, let’s give our children the extra boost they need by including more fruits and vegetables. They’ll not only have more energy, they’ll also develop healthy habits for years to come.” — Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“Food preferences are set early in a child’s life. Ontario is working with the communities to improve access and availability of vegetables and fruits, and to increase children and parents’ knowledge about healthy eating and how to make it a part of their everyday lives.” — John Fraser, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“There are many ways to champion healthy eating in your community, whether it’s improving access to vegetables and fruit, or increasing food knowledge and skills of children and their families through activities such as shopping, cooking, or gardening.” — Joanne Desormeaux, Facilitator for Healthy Kids Community Challenge Leeds and Grenville
Canada’s Food Guide recommends that children get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
- Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruit may prevent certain types of cancer, is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, healthy weights and lower risk of obesity.
- Leeds and Grenville is among 45 communities selected to take part in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge.
- The Healthy Kids Community Challenge Leeds and Grenville is receiving up to $500,000 over three years from Ontario to fund local community projects.