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Niagara This Week - Grimsby

Veggies and fruit are ‘all the time’ snacks

Nick, Penny and Melanie Seminchuk look on as Addison and Benjamin Wright enjoy their dinner at the farmers’ market. When finished, the two children will be shopping for a special treat with their Healthy Kids Market Buck. - Michelle Seaborn

Niagara is one of 45 communities across Ontario taking part in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. The goal: to support the well-being of children. This community-led program partners with other organizations to work together to implement activities to reduce and prevent childhood obesity. The plan includes improving nutrition and increasing physical activity.

The program in Grimsby was undertaken by the recreation services department and headed by Trevor Ruzylo, recreation co-ordinator, and partnered with the Grimsby Farmers’ Market. According to Ruzylo, the current theme is boosting veggies and fruit as part of our daily diet. Canada’s food guide suggests four to six servings of fruit or vegetables daily for children ages two to 13. Not only are they a great choice to satisfy hunger, but they contain a valuable source for vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and are a source of overall energy for physical activity.

The Niagara region is the perfect place to find an abundance of locally grown fruit and vegetables, and farmers markets are a great location to pick them up. Working with the town staff, the Grimsby Farmers’ Market offered to distribute a special Market Buck given to children allowing them to buy any healthy snack they wanted at the market. Bucks were distributed through summer camps, at the Peach King Centre, through community organizations and randomly on the street.

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Opinion Sep 11, 2017 by Michelle Seaborn Grimsby Lincoln News|

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