Guelph is one of 45 communities across Ontario participating in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. But how does it work? About every nine months, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will launch a new theme related to two of the key factors associated with healthy children: physical activity and healthy eating. Our community will rally around the theme and take on projects that help to make it real, in ways that work best for us and where we live.
The first theme encourages children to “Run. Jump. Play. Everyday.” As we know, lots of good things happen when our kids move. They develop stronger muscles and bones. They have greater focus and attention. Their coordination and self-confidence improve. Active kids are happier, they sleep better, and they do better in school.
Theme 2 of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge encourages children and families to reach for water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Water is an equally important part of good health. Drinking water helps boost your mood, helps your brain to think clearly and stay focused, helps boosts your energy, and keeps your body working and growing properly. And best of all, it’s free.
Theme 3 focuses on increasing vegetable and fruit consumption, by encouraging kids and families to make vegetables and fruit a part of every meal and snack. Choosing to boost veggies and fruit improves nutrition, decreases the risk of childhood obesity and helps kids perform better in school.
Theme 4 is all about helping children and families build a balanced day that includes staying within recommended screen time limits, putting screens away during important times (sleep time and meals), and replacing screen time with physical activity, social interactions, and educational activities. It’s all about powering off devices and playing more.
To learn more about programs and initiatives happening throughout our community:
- Easy games to play in gyms, playgrounds, and outdoors
- Great games anyone can play
- Unplug & Play: ideas and activities to balance screen time and play time
- Parent Child Place Program Schedule
- Guelph Parent /Child Program Guide
- Snacktivities (small space activities)
- Nature Play: 51 things to do before you’re 12
- 7 Obstacle Course Ideas for Kids of All Ages
- Canadian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines: your plan to get active every day
- Sip Smart! Ontario
- Rethink your Drink
- How can I get my child to drink more water?
- Healthy Beverages Ideas and Activities for Children