Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the City’s municipal child care centres are working together to promote healthy eating and physical activity for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. A new pilot project provides child care centres with nutrition and physical activity guidelines for healthy snacks and meals and active living for children in their care.
The Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Guidelines, which are now in place at five pilot City of Ottawa child care centres, ensure that all children have healthy meals and a wide range of physical activities during their day. The guidelines encourage adult-led activities, active free play indoors and out, and child care staff acting as role models for healthy eating and physical activity.
“These guidelines provide child care centres with valuable tools to give children the best start for a lifetime of healthy eating and active living,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “We know that overweight and obesity are serious concerns that threaten our children’s future and I’m proud that we are taking action to make real changes to help children grow up healthy and happy.”
The pilot project is currently in place at five municipal child care centres with plans to roll out the guidelines to all 15 City child care centres which serve more than 500 children.
“This pilot project is one example of Ottawa Public Health’s strong commitment to take concrete steps to work with partners, such as child care centres, to improve the health of children in our city,” said Councillor Diane Holmes, Chair of the Ottawa Board of Health. “With one in every three children in Ontario at an unhealthy weight, Ottawa Public Health is focused on providing caregivers and parents with the best supports to make healthier choices for children.”
“Addressing health concerns and supporting healthy habits for children involves everyone and this pilot project brings together the expertise of child care educators and health professionals to make children’s health a priority,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. “I congratulate our City partners for this important work to promote healthy living that will last a lifetime.”
For more information on Healthy Living, visit ottawa.ca/health or call Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744 (TTY 613-580-9656).