Teachers, Parents and Guardians

Research strongly suggests that health and education are linked and initiatives that improve the health status of student will help to improve their educational achievements (Healthy School Communities). 

Children look up to their parents, teachers and guardians as they grow up and they learn habits from them. When it comes to nutrition and health, it has been proven that role modeling is an effective behavior change technique in the prevention and management of childhood obesity (Martin et al, 2013). If you are a role model for a child, you can benefit from the information below.

Health Promoting Schools

The concept of a health promoting school is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a global school health initiative. The WHO defines a health promoting school as “one that constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working.”  Nova Scotia Health Promoting Schools is a partnership led by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Wellness and comprising Nova Scotia’s school boards, the Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, the province’s district health authorities and community members.

A health promoting school is about more than just eating well and being active- it fosters the physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual and environmental well-being of students, staff and community. When all these groups work together to promote a culture of wellness, it is recognized as a healthy school community. 

The result of this collaboration and commitment is improved student health and educational success, which benefits everyone in the community. Within the Capital Health District Authority, three school boards are taking initiatives to support health promoting schools and communities:

Strive For Five at School!

Strive For Five at School!  A Guide to Promoting Fruits and Vegetables was developed for Health Promoting Schools teams and supporters. The guide was created to support fruit and vegetable consumption in schools and to support the consumption of local produce, which can enhance the health of our communities and our food system.

Why is fruit and vegetable consumption important in schools? Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends that school-aged children consume five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day depending on their age.

However, within the Atlantic provinces, 79 per cent of children eat fewer than the recommended minimum five servings of fruits and vegetables daily (Strive For Five Manual). Since many students eat breakfast, lunch and snacks at school, schools offer the perfect environment to encourage an increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.

The Strive For Five guide contains:

  • Healthy recipes (in small and large quantities) that focus on local fruits and vegetables
  • Ideas to share with families through special events and newsletters

Nourish Nova Scotia

Nourish Nova Scotia is a province-wide, non-profit organization that supports nourishment and food literacy programs in school communities. The goal of the organization is to support the nutritional well-being of children and youth and to build their food knowledge and skills so they can feed themselves well into a healthier future.

Nourish Nova Scotia currently supports more than 360 community-owned, volunteer run nutrition programs around the province through financial and educational resources. Visit Nourish Nova Scotia to learn more about them. On the website you will find program support, program resources and other inspirational stories happening across the province.

Thrive! A plan for a healthier Nova Scotia

Healthy eating and physical activity are key factors in the prevention of obesity and chronic disease. Although healthy living is often framed as a choice, it is recognized that our choices are affected by the social and physical environment in which we live, work, learn, play and commute. Thrive! A plan for a healthier Nova Scotia states that obesity is largely a “normal response, by normal people, to an abnormal environment.”

The government of Nova Scotia has responded to rising levels of obesity and chronic disease in the province. In 2012. How healthy is your community? outlines a plan to shape public policy in a way that promotes a healthier province. It outlines four priority areas to create environments to make it easier to eat well and be active.