Healthy Kids Community Challenge

Healthy Kids Community Challenge was a community led initiative in the County of Huron funded by the Province of Ontario. From 2015 to 2018, Healthy Kids Community Challenge County of Huron promoted healthy eating and physical activity for children ages 0-12. The program focused on healthy communities because healthy kids live in healthy schools, families, and communities.

The Healthy Kids Community Challenge focused on four themes:

Theme one: Run. Jump. Play. Every Day.

Theme two: Water Does Wonders

  • This theme promoted the benefits of drinking water over sugar sweetened beverages to keep kids hydrated for a healthy, active life.
  • Substituting sugar sweetened beverages with water can help children:
    • Stay hydrated
    • Avoid excess sugar intake that can increase risk of chronic disease
    • Keep kids ready for an active lifestyle
  • Remember to choose water as your child’s source of hydration when being physically active and choose reusable water bottles to fill up on the go

Theme three: Boost Your Veggies and Fruit

  • This theme promoted healthy eating habits for children
  • Ensuring children eat a diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruit can help them to:
    • Get all of their essential vitamins and minerals, as well as provide important dietary fibre and carbohydrates to provide energy for an active life
    • Reduce the risk of chronic disease
    • Prepare them for school by being more alert and focused on learning
  • Allow your children to be involved with preparing meals and providing at least one food at each meal time that is familiar to them. Check out Canada’s Food Guide or UnlockFood.ca for more tips and recipes.

Theme four: Power Off and Play

  • This theme promoted active play through reducing screen time and sedentary behaviour for children
  • When children spend too much time sedentary in front of screens it can lead to:
    • Delays in brain development including attention, fine motor skills, and language development
    • Increased risk of chronic disease due to limited physical activity levels
    • Issues with emotional regulation and mental well-being
  • Try setting boundaries for screen time. Allowing meal times, game nights, and bed times to be screen free can reduce screen time and keep families connected.

Although Healthy Kids Community Challenge County of Huron ended in 2018, a working group of public health and education leaders created a new group called “Healthy Kids Huron Perth” to keep encouraging healthy communities. For more information, resources, or community events follow Healthy Kids Huron Perth on Facebook.