The Regional Municipality of Durham

News Release

Start the school year off right with healthy eating

WHITBY, ON August 28, 2014

This school year, Durham Region Health Department hopes to make eating vegetables and fruit easier and more enjoyable for you and your family with the launch of its annual vegetable and fruit campaign, “Real Food. Real Fast. Real Good. Are You Getting Enough?”

“A new school year is a great opportunity to explore new and healthy food choices,” said Tara Wheeler, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “Vegetables and fruit can be a quick and healthy solution for back-to-school meals and snacks.”

The Health Department recommends starting the day off with a healthy breakfast that includes vegetables and/or fruit. “Vegetables and fruit help provide important nutrients and energy that children need to get their day off to a great start,” Ms. Wheeler explained. “A healthy breakfast is the best way to start a child’s school day, helping them to stay focused, have more energy and support their learning.”

To help you and your family to eat a healthy breakfast every day, the Health Department has developed a “Love Your Breakfast” edition of its Together is Better! Eating Healthy as a Family magazine series.  The magazine, available online and in hard copy, includes useful tips and recipes to help families beat the morning rush.

Ms. Wheeler explained that breakfast can be a quick and easy meal when you’re using vegetables and fruit. “Even if you’re running late, there are many portable breakfast options that can ensure you have a healthy start to your day. We know that time is often a barrier for busy parents so we’re trying to help people recognize that vegetables and fruit can be quick and easy for all meals and snacks.” 

Canada’s Food Guide recommends four to eight servings of vegetables and fruit each day for children, depending on age and gender, and seven to 10 servings for adults, also depending on age

and gender. However, a 2012 Canadian Community Health survey found that only about one-third of Durham Region residents eat vegetables and fruit more than five times daily.

Research shows that eating vegetables and fruit can lower your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, high blood pressure and stroke, and may also help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight. 

“It’s easy to prepare vegetables and fruit as quick ‘grab and go’ meal options,” Ms. Wheeler added. Vegetables and fruit are both healthy and affordable choices for meals and snacks making them nature’s true fast food.”

For tips for quick and tasty meal or snack ideas, or to order a copy of the Together is Better! Eating Healthy as a Family magazine, call Durham Health Connection Line 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

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For more information, please contact Health Department.