July 23,

Water – Making it the Drink of Choice for Kids

March 24, 2017 –  Healthy Kids Community Challenge Wraps Up Water Does Wonders

World Water Day on March 22 reminds us of the importance of access to clean and safe water. The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is celebrating this day by recognizing the many exciting local initiatives designed to encourage kids to make water their drink of choice.

“Water is essential for good health and has no sugar. It keeps kids hydrated, energized, and alert,” said Deanna Moher, Healthy Kids Community Challenge Project Coordinator. “Choosing water over sugar-sweetened beverages and sports drinks is one of the best ways to reduce sugar intake for lifelong health.”

Moher said research shows that sugar-sweetened beverages are the single largest source of sugar in kids’ diets.  Almost half (44 per cent) of the sugar children and youth consume every day comes from beverages, and too much sugar can lead to health problems and tooth decay. Studies also show that kids who are used to drinking water at a young age are more likely to drink water later in life.

“The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is encouraging the development of active and healthy lifestyles,” said Peterborough Mayor Daryl Bennett, a community champion for the Healthy Kids Community Challenge. “Drinking water is essential to nurturing those healthy choices in our children. To support this activity, the city has been increasing access to water in community locations that are well used by children.”

Since July 2016, programs, events and infrastructure have been offered and developed to promote drinking water to kids across the City, County and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations. Drinking water is now more available to kids and families, and the importance of water has been a focus in settings such as child care and in schools. The infrastructure and activities have and will continue to support thousands of children across our region to choose water as their drink of choice. A summary of recent accomplishments and activities can be found in the attached backgrounder.

All families and organizations are encouraged to visit www.waterdoeswonders.ca for more information. Consider “Taking the Pledge” and be sure to share your excitement with the Healthy Kids Community Challenge via social media or email. Stay connected to learn about upcoming opportunities that are part of the next theme: “Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit”. Find us on Facebook (HKCC Peterborough), Twitter (@HKCCPtbo), or on the web (www.sustainablepeterborough.ca).

The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is a community program where partners from different sectors work together to organize activities that promote and support healthy behaviours for children, including healthy eating and physical activity.

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BACKGROUNDER

Water – Making it the Drink of Choice for Kids

Healthy Kids Community Challenge Peterborough

Water Does Wonders theme

The focus of the Water Does Wonders theme is to support children to make water their drink of choice. Research shows that children today drink almost half of the sugar they consume each day, and this also contributes to many children often consuming more sugar than is recommended. Water is the natural and healthy choice to stay hydrated throughout the day*. Since July 2016, programs, events and infrastructure have been offered and developed to promote drinking water to kids across the City, County and Curve Lake and Hiawatha First Nations.

 

Major accomplishments since December 2016

  • 22 water filling stations were installed in arenas, parks and community hubs, used by thousands of children each week.
  • 30+ businesses have added their site to www.bluewptbo.ca, an interactive map of places to fill your water bottle for free.
  • Representatives from over 20 schools learned about how water can enhance kids’ learning and self-regulation.
  • An Indigenous-focused curriculum, Nibi Giinwiindawan (We Are Water) was developed through a partnership with Curve Lake First Nation and YWCA Peterborough Haliburton Nourish Project. It is being shared with schools, communities and youth groups.
  • 200+ kids, parents and caregivers have participated in PRHC’s “Water by Choice” program.

Water Month – February 2017

February was “Water Month”, a month to celebrate the accomplishments over the past eight months and invite all kids and families in our region to participate.

  • More than 100 families participated in the Water Month weekly contests
  • 46 entried and more than 1,000 visits to the Water Month Photo Contest
  • More than 15 local organizations and media outlets supported Water Month contests.
  • Schools representing over 3,000 students participated in Water Month activities promoting water or encouraging critical thinking about drink choices.
  • 16 childcare and early years program sites participated in Water Does Wonders activities, and many took part in “the Big Water Gulp” on February 24th.
  • 160 participants in the YMCA Wildrock Kids 1k received the “Water is the way to GO!” resource, and more than 100 runners enjoyed the flavoured (fruit and vegetable) water station.

About the Healthy Kids Community Challenge

The Healthy Kids Community Challenge is a community program where partners from different sectors work together to organize activities that promote and support healthy behaviours for children, including healthy eating and physical activity. From 2015 to 2018, Peterborough is receiving special funding from the Ontario government to support this initiative. Activities are determined based on “themes”, which last for nine months. The next theme is “Choose to boost veggies and fruit” which will run from April to December 2017.

*Water can be offered to infants after 6 months of age (exclusive breastfeeding or infant formula offers hydration for infants younger than 6 months).

For further information, please contact:

Deanna Moher, MPH

Healthy Kids Community Challenge Project Coordinator

705-743-1000, ext. 355

dmoher@peterboroughpublichealth.ca

 

For further information, please contact:

Deanna Moher, MPH
Healthy Kids Community Challenge Project Coordinator
705-743-1000, ext. 355

dmoher@peterboroughpublichealth.ca

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