Annapolis County aiming for healthy eating policy
“Eating well and being active takes more than willpower. A policy that supports healthy food and beverage choices can help ensure that the healthy choice is the easy choice.”
This quote from the government of Nova Scotia is being embraced by our neighboring counties and communities and now Annapolis County council is stepping up!
Partnering with the Annapolis Community Health Board, NS Public Health nutritionists, Clean Annapolis River Project, and Annapolis County Recreation, strategic planning is in place to help create a Healthy Eating Policy and Food Charter that will make for better food and beverage choices at all county-owned and run facilities and events.
Creating the policy and forming a charter is the easy part. It helps that there is a group of people leading this project who are like-minded and familiar with the steps for implementation. The hard work comes when trying to get out of the cycle of using junk food or less healthy foods and beverages as a reward for sporting events or at celebrations.
Will there be no more cake at birthday parties or hot chocolate at the end of hard day of snowshoeing? No chips and hot dogs? No ice cream and pop? Nope. It simply means there will be options and an eventual growth in nutritious choices, making healthy eating normal.
This is where the planning and partnerships happen, working with dieticians, farmers and chefs, community halls and farmers markets. We live in an area abundant in healthy, fresh, and locally produced food. We have the kitchens to cook in, teachers to share the skills, and communities that care about its most vulnerable - the food-insecure, the elderly, and our children.
It can be done in such a way to be affordable, appealing, accessible, and available. We must be ready to embrace the change and realize that we, our health and wellbeing, our environment, our communities, and our economic development are all the beneficiaries of this policy. Picture kids asking for a hot bowl of chili at a hockey game, a fruit smoothie at the beach, a dish of fresh fruit and yogurt dip. Cakes made with whole grain flours and natural sugars from fruits. Veggie packed wraps and sandwiches with real turkey and ham. Clean, cold water and 100 per cent Valley apple cider.
It’s easier than it seems when you have the best ingredients to work with - and we’re worth it.