Leader's Blog

Healthy Food Helps Kids LearnWelcome back to school and to a new academic year to our children and their parents. As the kids roll back into the classroom, I imagine your family’s week has been as exciting and crazy as ours.

Like other parents, my wife Sandy and I are focused on making sure our kids have the support they need to succeed. In the rush and bustle of a new school year, we know how easy it is to overlook the importance of healthy eating. Healthy, nutritious food is proven to help kids concentrate, take in more information and learn more.

The Green Party of Ontario is committed to making healthy eating and local food a priority by bringing together parents, farmers, educators, nutritionists, health practitioners, vendors and others to provide provincial coordination and support to existing school food programs. Now is the time to also lay the foundation for a provincial school snack and lunch program that makes healthy food available in all our schools across the province.

In communities across Ontario parent volunteers, community organizations, and food and farming groups are developing programs to support healthy eating in our schools.

We’ve made some important progress in removing junk food from our schools. However, with our children facing an obesity and diabetes epidemic and with more research showing how important healthy eating is to academic success, it is clear that more needs to be done.

In British Columbia, the government is working with schools to coordinate and support parents in implementing healthy eating programs. The government has guidelines in place in order to encourage and support schools in making highly nutritious and locally-grown foods available. The government is working with parents, health experts and farmers to coordinate and support programs at the provincial level. The upshot? Kids are working better in the classroom, have higher energy levels and a greater understanding of where their food is grown. Children are learning life long skills that benefit them today and in the future.

The Green Party of Ontario is committed to healthy eating programs in our schools to ensure our children’s health and the future affordability of our health care system. It’s time for Ontario to make healthy eating and local food in schools a provincial priority. It’s time to move beyond pilot projects, studies and inadequately funded preliminary programs.