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Healthy Food, Healthy Kids

The Healthy Food, Healthy Kids project partners are concerned with the poor quality of children’s diets and the food environment in the united counties of SD&G.

Chantal Secours

on 24 March 2014

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Transcript of Healthy Food, Healthy Kids

We all have a role to play
Food and beverages of poor nutritional value (i.e., chips, soft drinks,
hot dogs) are no longer the exception in our children’s diets but rather they have become the norm:

In a survey of grade 5 students in the EOHU area, one third of participants reported consuming sugar-sweetened beverages on a daily basis
In the Champlain region, 52.6 % of parents reported that their child ate fast food at least once per week

Children are not consuming enough servings from the Vegetables and Fruit and the Milk and Alternatives food groups from Canada’s Food Guide:

More than half of all children between the ages of 4 to 13 are eating less than the 5 minimum recommended servings of vegetables and fruit each day
80% of adolescent females aged 10 to 16 did not consume the recommended minimum number of servings of milk products per day

It’s not just a treat anymore!
Healthy eating habits in children impact growth and development, the risk of chronic diseases (i.e., heart disease, diabetes and cancer), and influence the development of healthy habits now and in the future. In turn, the food environment (i.e., the types and amount of food that children are exposed to in the community) is an important factor that affects children’s food choices, eating habits and attitudes towards food.

The Healthy Food, Healthy Kids project partners are concerned with the poor quality of children’s diets and the food environment in the united counties of SD&G.
Healthy Food, Healthy Kids project partners aim to work in collaboration with community groups and agencies in the United Counties of SD&G to support them in providing nutritious food and beverages whenever and wherever they are offered to children and youth.
Local examples illustrate that children are in fact being served food of poor nutritional value as part of activities in the community:

Food like hot dogs, candy and chocolate bars are given to children during celebrations (i.e., holidays, banquets, birthdays), special events (i.e., fundraisers, tournaments, National Child Day) or even just as part of regular programming.

Food of poor nutritional value and food vouchers are also often offered to children as a reward for good performance (e.g., player of the game, winning a tournament), behaviour or participation.

RATIONALE: Why address the food environment
in community settings?
Where children live, learn and play has an impact on their overall health and wellbeing.
Are we contributing to the problem?
Food availability, family meals and parental role modelling affect the health behaviours of children. Parents are responsible for educating their children and role modelling healthy eating habits. Parents select and provide the food and beverages. Children decide how much or whether to eat.
Community leaders like you CAN make a commitment to creating a healthier food environment in our community by:

Offering healthy food options during celebrations and special events.

Offering non-food rewards and prizes.

Requesting healthy food donations from local grocers and financial or in-kind support from local businesses.

Developing and implementing an organizational food policy or guideline.

i Eastern Ontario Health Unit (2007). Eastern Ontario Child Nutrition Survey. Retrieved from:

ii Adamo K.B., Papadakis, S., Dojeiji, L., Turnau, M., Simmons, L., Parameswaran, M., Cunningham,
J., Pipe, A.L., Reid, R.D. (2010). Using path analysis to understand parents’ perceptions of their children’s weight, physical activity and eating habits in the Champlain region of Ontario.
Paediatric Child Health 15(9): e33-e41.

iii Statistics
Canada (2
006). Overview of Canadians’ Eating Habits 2004. Catalogue no.
82-620-MIE (2). Retrieved from: http://www.publications.gc.ca/Collection/

iv Dietitians of Canada (2010). Advertising of food and beverages to children:
Position of Dietitians of Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.dietitians.ca/

v Harris, J.L., Graff, S.L., (2011). Protecting children from harmful food marketing:
Options for local government to make a difference. Preventing Chronic Disease
Public Health Research, Practice, and Policy, 8(5): A92.
Healthy Food, Healthy Kids tools:
A set of nutrition tools, including healthy beverage and snack recipes and meal ideas for special events to assist your organization in making healthy choices on an everyday basis.

Tools available on the All Things Food website:

Nutrition Standards and Healthy Eating Policy development:

Health Promotion staff at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit can offer guidance, tools and support.
Contact the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, and ask for a Public Health Dietitian:
“Lettuce” help you!
There are currently no existing provincial or municipal policies, nutrition standards or guidelines to influence what food and beverages children are exposed to in community settings.

Leaders in community settings have a role to play in promoting healthy eating behaviours and attitudes to children, their families and the community at large:

Parents’ ability to feed children well is hindered when food of poor nutritional value is marketed or provided to their children.

Providing food in between scheduled meal and snack times promotes eating in the absence of hunger. Respecting hunger cues is an important factor in the promotion of healthy eating and healthy weightsiv,v.

Food rewards link a child’s emotions to food which can lead to eating as a response to feeling happy/sad instead of when one is hungry.

The use of food vouchers and the promotion of discounts at Fast Food establishments promote the overconsumption of unhealthy food by marketing to children.
Children have access to nutritious food like fresh fruits and vegetables through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ Healthy Eating for Better Learning program. Schools must also implement the Ministry of Education’s School Food and Beverage Policy (PPM 150) that includes nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in schools (2010). In addition, the Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network’s Healthy School-aged Children initiative supports schools in creating healthy nutrition environments and promoting healthy eating habits.
Factsheet produced by All Things Food, SD&G for the Healthy Food, Healthy Kids project with funding from the Hearth and Stroke Foundation’s Spark Advocacy Grant
Healthy Food, Healthy kids
Creating healthy nutrition
environments where children play

A call to action for leaders in community
settings in the United Counties of
Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry
Full transcript