An­napo­lis County aim­ing for healthy eat­ing pol­icy

Annapolis Valley Register - - OPINION - Chantelle Webb The Lo­ca­vore Chantelle Webb is chef at The Ma­son Jar in Bridgetown, a food en­tre­pre­neur, and a lo­ca­vore.

“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.

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