Looking for ways to improve healthy eating at your school? A new provincial program called BrightBites might be just what you need! That was the advice that the health unit’s Registered Dietitian Jody Dawson shared with Nottawa Elementary School last year when they identified healthy eating as a focus for their school learning plan.
Nottawa formed a nutrition sub-committee with support from students, staff, parents and the health unit and earned seven BrightBites badges, placing them at #1 on the BrightBites Hall of Fame! They engaged students for support and ideas for the breakfast program (they asked for more veggies!!!), and switched to healthy classroom celebrations, rewards, incentives and healthier fundraising options. They also successfully hosted their fun fair sans candy sales and sold fruit kabobs instead. To top it all off, Nottawa is now an order and pick-up site for the Good Food Box programs to make it easy for families to participate.
BrightBites is a free, easy to use, online program that offers tools and resources to help school leaders create a healthier school nutrition environment. Getting started is easy!
Schools can earn digital badges and compete with other teams for a spot on the BrightBites Hall of Fame. Badges are available on a variety of healthy eating topics, such as: packing healthy lunches, classroom celebrations, rewards and incentives, promoting water and reducing sugar sweetened beverages and making curriculum connections to healthy eating.
Think you’re ready to start earning badges for your school? Check out the website and follow the steps listed for the badge you’re interested in. Engage students and start to transform your school with small steps and share your stories and successes. Share your badges on social media or on your school website and claim your spot on the BrightBites Hall of Fame!
Looking for support? Public Health dietitians and nurses from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit are available to assist your school with implementing BrightBites. Contact your school public health nurse or visit www.brightbites.ca to get started.
~ Stephanie Ross RN
Follow the Healthy Schools team on Twitter @SMHealthySchool