Submitted by Emma Pillsworth, Local Project Manager for the Healthy Kids Community Challenge
As parents, family members, educators and community members, we want nothing more than to see our kids grow up living healthy, happy lives. But, helping kids to make healthy choices isn’t always easy – time is limited, screens and other distractions are readily available, and healthy options can be costly. However, the Healthy Kids Community Challenge is here to help!
Hastings and Prince Edward Counties are among 45 regions across Ontario taking part in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (“The Challenge”). The Challenge unites communities in a collective effort to support the well-being of our children. Local partners from different sectors, including municipalities, public health, education, recreation, and local businesses, are working together to promote children’s health and enable healthy habits. This is being done through a series of theme-based programs, policies, and initiatives relating to physical activity, healthy eating, and other healthy habits.
The first theme of The Challenge, which ran until the end of June, was “Run, Jump, Play. Every Day.” This theme encouraged physical activity through a mix of active play, active transportation, sports and structured physical activity. As a part of this theme, The Challenge hosted a series of professional development opportunities for educators as well as several parent nights. These educational opportunities highlighted important concepts like physical literacy and outdoor active play, while providing tips on how to integrate daily physical activity into the school, childcare, and home settings. Equipment giveaways were also provided to help create a more supportive physical activity environment for kids in Hastings and Prince Edward counties.
The Challenge is now moving onto its second theme, “Water does Wonders.” This theme encourages kids and families to drink more water. Water is natural and free and we know that children need lots of it to stay hydrated and healthy! The Challenge has lots of great activities planned for this theme including hydration stations, a water education month, competitions, and much more! Keep an eye out for us at community events and schools. As The Challenge moves onto theme two, don’t think that we have forgotten about our first theme. We will still be encouraging kids and their families to engage in physical activity. Lots of good things happen when kids move and when kids are running, jumping, and playing, they also need more water!
The Challenge is on! Healthy habits start now.
Learn more about the Healthy Kids Community Challenge at: www.healthykidshpe.ca.