Healthy Kids initiatives in Canada

Healthy Kids initiatives in Canada

The Canadian government and various non-profit organizations organize healthy kids initiatives all over the country. The main goals are to educate the public, promote physical activity and balanced nutrition, and ensure healthy growth.

Government Funding

The Canadian government announced plans to provide funding of up to $1.5 million in support of the Healthy Kids Initiative of the Alliance Wellness and Rehabilitation and YMCA. The goal is to encourage children to develop healthy eating habits and increase physical activity by offering access to facilities and mental health and balanced eating sessions. For families this of course comes at a cost and additional credit may help when choosing healthier food options.

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Raising Our Healthy Kids is another initiative as a result of which short videos on various health topics were produced. The series focus on issues such as eating together, food skills, and healthy drinks, snacks, and meals. There are also short videos on infant nutrition, exploring topics such as starting solid foods, the feeding relationship, and iron rich foods. Funding was made available by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Calgary Health Trust, and the Government of Alberta. Different initiatives have been organized in British Columbia as well, among which the After School Sport Initiative and Healthy Families BC.

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Developed in 2011, Healthy Families BC targets different public institutions, including health care settings, restaurants, communities, and schools. Families are offered supported online and by phone through the Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC and the Physical Activity Line. The Northern Healthy Food Initiative is another initiative in Manitoba which aims to encourage self-sufficiency through food business development, community programs, greenhouse projects, and garden initiatives. A number of initiatives have been organized, including the Community Supported Agriculture Initiative, York Landing Greenhouse, and Grow Success. The Vegetable and Fruit Snack Program has been implemented in 13 urban, northern, and rural schools across Manitoba. The goal is to promote healthy nutrition and educate community partners, school staff, families, and students. Initiatives have been organized in New Brunswick as well, including Healthy Toddler Assessment, the New Brunswick Wellness Strategy, and the Baby Friendly Initiative.

Programs by Non-for-Profits

Active Kids, Healthy Kids is a program run by the Canadian Paediatric Society, targeting healthcare professionals such as family physicians and pediatricians. The goal is to encourage professionals to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity. The materials have been developed by the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group and the Canadian Paediatric Society and include a prescription pad, posters, a guide for healthcare professionals, and videos. The guides and videos cover children across age groups, including adolescents, school-aged children, preschoolers, and babies. Physicians are offered access to information on topics such as crawling, rolling, and playing, tummy time, and safe play spaces for infants. Topics focusing on preschoolers include screen time limits, biking and walking, playing with other children, and playing outdoors and indoors. Health professionals are also offered information on sedentary behavior and physical activity for preschoolers, including physical activities of various intensity, active transportation, and active games. Vigorous-intensity activities include sports such as field hockey, aerobics, and swimming while moderate-intensity activities are softball, baseball, brisk walking, and playground activities.

ActiveChefs is a Canadian charity that organizes various initiatives with a focus on under-served and vulnerable communities, food security, equity, obesity, and child nutrition. The goal is to educate the public and raise awareness of the importance of physical activity, cooking skills, and balanced nutrition. With the help of fundraising activities and volunteers, the charity offers helpful resources, food, free programs, campaigns and challenges, and events. The programs and events organized by ActiveChefs are funded by foundations, corporations, businesses, and individuals.

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