Fruit project launched in 61 schools

It may take two, three, or even 15 tries before a child gets used to the taste of a new food and a little variety goes a long way to achieving the five to six servings daily that school-aged children should consume.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has launched the Northern Fruit and Vegetable Program (NFVP) in 61 elementary and intermediate schools, including two schools in First Nations communities, throughout the districts of Nipissing and Parry Sound.

The NFVP supplies two free servings of fresh vegetables and fruits each week, with a focus on Ontario-grown produce, when available, to students from kindergarten through grade eight.

The Health Unit says the program has been successfully running for two months and has received great feedback from involved schools and community partners.

The Public Health Dietitian at the Health Unit, Kendra Patrick, says simply giving the students the opportunities to try new fruits and vegetables increases the likelihood that they will come to accept and enjoy them.

Educational materials are also provided to help increase awareness about the importance of eating vegetables and fruit, as well as incorporating regular physical activity for good health and the prevention of chronic diseases. This program is offered in addition to breakfast and snack programs running in the schools.

The NFVP has been successfully running in the Algoma Public Health and Porcupine Health Unit regions since 2006. In 2014, Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ region and five communities on the James Bay coast joined the program.

The Health Unit says it is very fortunate to work with committed partners, such as the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association, First Nations communities, and elementary and intermediate schools throughout the Nipissing and Parry Sound districts to support the program.


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