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- 'BrightBite' Resource Offers Rewarding Ways for Schools to Promote Healthy Foods and Eating to Students -

Local schools are encouraged to help students get a taste for healthy eating by using a new resource that breaks the subject into easy-to-use, bite-sized bits.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is highlighting the new Bright Bites program that can help boost school nutrition efforts. Bright Bites has tools, resources and success stories to guide and inspire educators and others to create a school environment that supports healthy foods and eating. Bright Bites is available to all Ontario schools and was developed by the Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health, a group that represents Registered Dietitians working in public health.

“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 Bright Bites website provides educators, school staff and parents with insightful blog and Facebook posts, inspiring tweets, helpful Pinterest boards and easy-to-follow project ideas (badges) to involve 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 Bright Bites ‘Hall of Fame’ and can be shared through social media. Schools and classes can even compete to see who can earn the most badges.

Bright Bites 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!”

Bright Bites is curriculum-friendly, as it aligns with Ontario’s Foundations for a Healthy School framework. BrightBites is made possible through a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Education, as well as the financial support of many Ontario health units.

For media inquiries, contact:

Sandy Maxwell, Registered Dietitian, Chairperson, Bright Bites Working Group, 1-888-505-6074, ext. 7305,

or Sarah Tsang, Registered Dietitian, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 1497.

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«January 2019»