Time to Start campaign gives Canadian parents the tools to provide their children a healthier school year
A recent poll* from the Heart and Stroke Foundation found that the majority of Canadian parents (81 per cent) provide their children with lunches and snacks at school that are packed for them at home. However, with 22 per cent of parents saying their children are picky eaters, the challenge is ensuring they eat what is packed for them. The Heart and Stroke Foundation`s Time to Start campaign, running from August 19 - September 8, 2013, is arming parents with the tips and tricks they need to pack healthier options that their kids will love.
"Picky eaters can be a challenge," says Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian. "Try engaging your kids by getting them more involved in snack and lunch preparation. Kids that are included and have a say in the process are more likely to want to eat what you've prepared."
As part of the Time to Start campaign, the Foundation is offering weekly meal plans developed by its registered dietitians on healthcheck.org. The plans come complete with shopping tips and helpful hints for parents to get their kids on the right track this September.
"Our free downloadable meal plans offer parents three weeks worth of healthy snack and meal ideas," continues Dombrow. "Healthy eating options have never been so easy to find."
Visitors to healthcheck.org and the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Facebook page (facebook.com/heartandstroke) will have the opportunity to enter the Time to Start contest for the opportunity to win daily prizes or one of 10 $1,000 grocery gift cards. Visitors can also sign-up for the Heart Smart Families newsletter for parents, and learn more about the Health Check program.
Other key findings from the poll:
• The majority of Canadian parents (83 per cent) feel it's very important that their children eat healthy snacks and lunches every day at school
• 14 per cent of parents cited lack of time as the biggest challenge they face in trying to make healthy packed lunches and snacks for their children to take to school
• 10 per cent of parents said that a school cafeteria or lunch program is the main source of lunches and snacks for their child at school
To learn more about the Time to Start campaign and the Foundation's commitment to heart healthy children and youth visit: heartandstroke.ca/healthykids.
Please visit the Heart and Stroke Health Check website (healthcheck.org) for more information on how to make informed and balanced food choices. The site contains ideas, tips and recipes to help give your kids a healthy school year. Follow us on Twitter @hsfhealthcheck and watch for tweets with #timetostart.
* The poll was conducted by Environics by telephone from June 17-30, 2013 among a national random sample of 2,009 adults comprising 1,004 males and 1,005 females 18 years of age and older, living in Canada. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 2.19%, 19 times out of 20.