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Grow Up Here: Here’s a cool food challenge that brings families and schools together

Never heard of BrightBites? Well read on about this school nutrition contest for elementary schools 
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Healthy-food
Greater Sudbury elementary schools can take part in the BrightBites Elementary School Contest being run by by the Sudbury & District Health Unit as part of Greater Sudbury’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge.

By Mélanie Gagné

Elementary schools have an exciting chance to show the community just how much they value healthy eating for their students. Greater Sudbury elementary schools can take part in the BrightBites Elementary School Contest being run by by the Sudbury & District Health Unit as part of Greater Sudbury’s Healthy Kids Community Challenge.

Schools are encouraged to sign up online and complete nutrition challenges to claim BrightBites’ badges. Earning badges gives them a higher rank in the BrightBites Hall of Fame and improves their chances of winning the grand prize, a Fender Blender Pro from Rock the Bike.

BrightBites is a provincial website, available in English and French, created to encourage schools to improve their food culture in a fun, easy and rewarding way. 

BrightBites has tools, resources and success stories to guide and inspire teachers and other school leaders to help them make positive changes “one bite at a time” and recognizes them for their efforts. Recognition comes in the form of fun badges that appear on the BrightBites Hall of Fame and can be shared through social media. 

The website takes school teams through four easy steps to boost how food is used in celebrations, fundraising, school events and more. It also encourages schools to offer more experiential learning opportunities related to food, like gardening and cooking. 

Once the steps are completed, schools share their stories to receive a digital badge that will appear on the BrightBites website. Teams are encouraged to involve parents when earning badges. One way that parents can participate is by sharing badges earned at their child’s school through their social media networks. BrightBites recognizes that everyone, parents included, play an important role in the success of BrightBites.

 “We know area schools are already doing great things to improve their school’s food culture. The contest is a great opportunity for them to show others what they are doing and to be recognized for all their hard work,” said Mélanie Gagné, a registered dietitian with the Sudbury & District Health Unit. 

Boosting nutrition in a school environment can make a significant difference for students. Being a positive role model and promoting the enjoyment of eating wholesome foods can create healthier eating habits for life and support student well-being. It’s not just about “eating healthy”. It’s about having a joyful, nourishing and balanced approach to growing, choosing, cooking, and eating food and BrightBites helps with just that.  

The contest runs until December 22, 2017. The elementary school in Greater Sudbury with the most badge points by 4:30 p.m., will win the top prize, the blender bike. For more details visit www.bit.ly/brightbitescontest, email bb@sdhu.com or call 705.5226116.9200 ext. 719. 

Melanie Gagné is a registered dietitian with the Sudbury & District Health Unit. She’s been working with local schools to better their nutrition environments for over 8 years. Grow Up Here is a column about agriculture from a local perspective, highlighting local farming efforts and projects, as well as urban farming. The column is written by a rotating stable of writers, all of whom are involved in some way in the local agricultural sector.

Questions about Grow Up Here can be emailed to editor@sudbury.com.
 




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