The Health Unit wants to make it easier for our children to make healthier food choices at play at and school. Children and youth spend hours at school, recreation centres, sports fields and arenas. These spaces play an important role in their nutrition and health so it’s important to think about the food and beverages available there. Community and school vending machines offering only treat foods like chips, chocolates and pop make it tough to make a wise choice when young people are hungry or thirsty. Decision makers can meet with vendors and food wholesalers to find nutritious, safe and affordable products. Operators can ensure there are also accessible water fountains.
Sports events that wrap up with cookies and fruit punch make it difficult to learn the lesson that healthy foods lead to healthy bodies and minds. When pressed for time it is easier to pick up prepared foods, often higher in added sugars, salt and fat. Public Health Nutritionist Marie Traynor says communities, families, health care providers and schools can work together to make healthier food choices outside the home the normal way to go. We can role model healthy eating and work towards creating environments and places that support it.