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Community Food Advisor

Promoting safe and nutritious food selection, preparation and storage practices.

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Nutrition Resource Centre

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Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit: Theme Three of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge

Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit: Theme Three of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge
May 5, 2017
The Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC) is part of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Strategy, a cross-government initiative to promote children's health in Ontario. There are currently 45 communities—representing almost 40 percent of Ontario’s population—participating in the program united through one common goal: promoting children’s health through physical activity and healthy eating. The communities receive funds and supports from the government of Ontario to implement local activities based on specific healthy behaviour themes.
So far, the Healthy Kids Community Challenge has successfully implemented two themes for health promotion activities across Ontario:
Run. Jump. Play. Every Day
: This theme was launched in September 2015 and encouraged physical activity through a mix of active play, active transportation, sports and structured physical activity.

Water Does Wonders: This theme encouraged kids and families to reach for water as a natural, healthy and free choice when thirsty instead of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The third theme, "Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit", was recently launched in April. This theme encourages children and their families to make vegetables and fruit a part of every meal and snack. By making community-level changes, families and children can be empowered to choose to eat more vegetables and fruit.

During theme three of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge, communities will introduce campaigns, policies, programs and environmental supports that will encourage kids to eat more vegetables and fruit.
Some popular interventions for the theme, Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit, include:
  • School gardens (e.g. tower gardens, community gardens, etc.)
  • Good food box programs (healthy affordable food for those in need)
  • Food skills and food literacy programs and resources
  • Intergenerational activities (e.g. engaging children and seniors in food literacy and skill building activities)
  • Increasing access to healthy food and beverages in recreation settings, community settings, schools, etc.
  • Policy initiatives (expanding existing policies in schools, day cares, camps, sports teams, etc.)
  • Collaboration between HKCC communities (collaborative planning and sharing of resources)
  • Theme integration (e.g. planning activities that focus on themes 1 and 3, like healthy eating and physical activity).
Children surroud a tower garden to learn about food and gardening. Credit: Food Share. 

For more information about this theme, visit the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s website here

The Healthy Kids Resource Centres, inlcuding the Nutrition Resource Centre, provide consultation support and capacity building to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. For more information click here
Read more in today's "news in brief"