School promotes healthy eating

With the unstable economy and the fast pace of everyday life, it’s important to keep healthy in order to maintain an active life, especially for children.
A healthy lifestyle can take time and work and the staff and parents at Ponoka Elementary School are taking action to ensure that the students are receiving the right foods.

  • Oct. 29, 2008 7:00 p.m.

Hunter Hart

With the unstable economy and the fast pace of everyday life, it’s important to keep healthy in order to maintain an active life, especially for children.

A healthy lifestyle can take time and work and the staff and parents at Ponoka Elementary School are taking action to ensure that the students are receiving the right foods.

The school has taken on the Growing Healthy Albertans program which is a $10,000 grant applied through Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund.

Karie Ackermann, one of the parents, applied for the grant for the school because she wanted to make a difference in the school by promoting healthy eating habits. She believes that providing nutritious foods in school benefits students now as well as later in life.

“The mandate for Growing Healthy Albertans is to create positive change in nutrition that is free from judgement in which all children can develop healthy eating habits and an active living plan that will last a lifetime,” said Ackermann.

Ackermann says that research has shown that 31 per cent of elementary school students do not start their day with a good breakfast and the number grows to 62 per cent by the time they hit middle school.

Only one out of five children get the necessary daily serving of fruits and vegetables and the prevalence of obesity in Canadian children has doubled in the past 20 years.

Not eating well can result in obesity, physical and emotional issues, increases Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and depression.

“If we show children that healthy eating is fun and delicious these numbers will change,” said Ackermann. “Something needs to be done and we can not ignore that there needs to be more education and awareness on this subject.”

The program is for Grades 1 through 5 and includes 330 students. Parents and volunteers come and prepare smoothies and healthy snacks and deliver them to the classrooms. The program will run up until June and children collect stamps for healthy eating and being active.

“It is a fun way for students to keep track of their progress, as well as a good way to evaluate the program,” said Ackermann.

The program is also environmentally friendly as the smoothie cups, etc can degrade in a landfill in about 180 days.

Leslie Crawford, principal, is pleased with the program and believes that it makes a positive different in the lives of the students.

“There is a direct correlation between learning and health/nutrition, so the more we can have our students prepared and ready for learning, the better,” said Crawford. “Students have responded very well to the program, and we’re hopeful that these healthy eating habits will be established or reinforced at an early age for lifelong benefits.”

Although the program ends in June, Ackermann is in the process of applying for another one to enhance what has been started in the school.

Just Posted

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Red Deer RCMP ask for assistance to ID suspect in indecent acts

The suspect exposed himself to a woman and made sexual comments to her

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Ponoka mayor & council takes on province for recreation funding

Mayor Rick Bonnett wants school requisition for three years

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Canada’s top general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault

Gen. Jonathan Vance is unhappy some troops continue to ignore his order to cease all sexual misconduct

Trio of Saint Bernard find their ‘forever home’ after story goes viral

Edmonton Humane Society had put out the call to adopt Gasket, Gunther and Goliath

Nova Scotia fixes online workaround of age requirement for cannabis sales

The problem popped up hours after the use of cannabis became legal

Carr, Morneau off to China next month to deepen commerce

Carr says Canada and China aren’t embarking on formal free trade talks

Most Read