The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit says a new website, BrightBites, can help boost school nutrition efforts.
Developed by the Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health, BrightBites has tools, resources and success stories to guide and inspire educators and others to create a school environment that supports healthy foods and eating, health promotors say.
“Boosting nutrition in a school environment can make a huge difference for students,” says Sarah Tsang, a Registered Dietitian with the HKPR District Health Unit. “Promoting wholesome, nutritious foods and the enjoyment of eating can boost students’ entire well-being – from their physical health, to their sense of focus, to their self-esteem.”
The BrightBites website provides educators, school staff and parents with blog and Facebook posts, tweets, and Pinterest boards along with nd easy-to-follow project ideas to help involve and inspire students in having fun with food and nutrition. The fun badges are forms of recognition that individual classes, school councils, student groups and others can earn for their efforts to improve the food environment and culture at their schools. Badges appear on the BrightBites ‘Hall of Fame’ and can be shared through social media. Schools and classes can even compete to see who can earn the most badges.
BrightBites was piloted this past spring to rave reviews.
“One school has already earned seven badges,” says Sandy Maxwell, a Registered Dietitian and lead for the project. “Students at this school were asking for more vegetables and fruit at their snack program, community dinners and in celebrations. I can’t wait to see what they will do next!”