Monday, 10 September 2012

Benefits of a Nutrition Program’re thinking about starting a nutrition program? Great! 
There are a lot of benefits to having a breakfast, lunch or snack program. Yes, nutrition programs can be a lot of work. On top of your already hectic life schedule, you have to find volunteers, shop for healthy groceries, report on your programs and do prep work. Wait! Before you go running for the hills, you need to know, there has been TONS of research to support the benefits of such a program. Please consider the following: 

  • In Ontario, about 20% of students go to school without having eaten breakfast (Dairy Farmers of Ontario, 2010). 
    • Children who feel hungry result in lower math scores and are more likely to be absent and tardy (Breakfast for Learning, 2011). 
    • Students who eat morning meals at least 3 days a week achieve higher grades (Feeding our Future, 2011). 
  • There are a variety of reasons children may come to school without having eaten. Including dual working parents, involvement in early morning extracurricular, long bus rides, oversleep, financial problems or they simply aren’t ready to eat in the morning. 
    • It is essential for all students to have access to a healthy breakfast or snack. This is why OSNP programs are universal. 
  • According to Statistics Canada, one in four Canadian children is overweight or obese. Obesity results from a variety of things. Among those are junk food, genetics and inactivity. 
    • Consistent consumption of breakfast and nutritious snack choices results in better overall health including a lower BMI and lower likelihood of obesity in the short and long term (Breakfast for Learning, 2011). 
Starting a healthy nutrition program in your school could be a first step to improving the lives of well-deserved children.

The Ontario Student Nutrition Program (OSNP), along with many other programs across Southwestern Ontario provides assistance and opportunities for students to have greater access to nutritious food. A healthy and nutritious start to a student’s morning can make all the difference. As well as getting the proper nutrients to fuel their bodies throughout the day with healthy snacks. 

The math is simple. 
Benefits > Drawbacks


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