St. Bernadette takes top prize for boosting their school’s nutrition environment

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Algoma Public Health is happy to announce that St. Bernadette Catholic School is the winner of our 2016/17 BrightBites contest and have won new gym equipment for the whole school to enjoy. The contest was launched in the fall of 2016 to help promote BrightBites, which is an easy and free online program that helps schools boost school nutrition by earning fun, easy badges.

St. Bernadette ‘Blaze Bites’ (student council) led their school community in claiming the most badge points this school year in the Algoma district. They educated the school on sugar-sweetened beverages and the importance of water, not only as the healthiest drink choice, but the necessity of water and our role in protecting it. In addition, Blaze Bites:

· promoted the importance of vegetables and fruit
· grew their own vegetables
· implemented healthier fundraising and student rewards
· transformed their healthy breakfast program room into a welcoming space
· provided healthier options at their year-end Pow Wow
· celebrated the native culture throughout their initiatives

It is important to provide students with positive examples of wholesome, nutritious food in a school setting. “Healthy eating can have beneficial effects on student well-being, from their physical health, to their sense of focus and self-esteem,” says Lindsay Fera, a registered dietitian at Algoma Public Health. “Healthy nutrition environments also help create healthier habits that last a lifetime.”

Queen Elizabeth Public School placed second in the Algoma district. They did a great job at making healthy changes in their school by providing fruit infused water to students throughout the day, and serving healthy food and drink options during school fundraisers. The school’s parent council also hosted a multicultural night where students had an opportunity to try new foods and celebrate different cultures!