Burlington Families Urged to Choose Local for Healthy Kids Community Challenge

Children and their families in Burlington are being encouraged to choose fruit and vegetables as part of each meal for the Healthy Kids Community Challenge.

We are very fortunate in Burlington to have access to a variety of fresh produce grown locally,” said the city’s director of parks and recreation Chris Glenn.

I hope families will explore the farms and markets right in our own backyard to help children develop healthy eating habits that will last for years to come."

The campaign promotes healthy eating, physical activity and solid lifestyle choices for children.

Burlington and 44 other communities across Ontario are taking part.

The Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington is receiving up to $375,000 a year from the province to fund community projects.

"Food preferences are set early in a child's life,” said Ottawa South MPP John Fraser, who’s also the parliamentary assistant to Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins.

Canada's Food Guide recommends children get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day — whether they're fresh, frozen or canned, it supplies vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, and overall energy needed to be physically active.

Maintaining a diet rich in vegetables and fruit may prevent certain types of cancer and is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, healthy weights and lower risk of obesity, according to the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research.

During the first two phases, the City of Burlington introduced physical activity programming to 5,354 children and talked about swapping sugary drinks for water to more than 46,000 children.

Fraser says the province is aiming to “to increase children and parents' knowledge about healthy eating and how to make it a part of their everyday lives."

Brantford, Hamilton, and Guelph are also participating in the challenge.

Photo courtesy of the City of Burlington

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