Healthy Eating in Recreation Facilities
In 2017, Heart & Stroke in PEI formed the Children’s Nutrition Committee with the mandate to plan, coordinate and deliver activities to support opportunities for children and youth to develop healthy eating habits. This included working toward the restriction of unhealthy food and beverage marketing to kids.
In 2018, the Children’s Nutrition Committee did a scan of food and beverage offerings and healthy food practices in recreation settings across Prince Edward Island (PEI). Although scans of the “food environment” in recreation facilities had been conducted in some other provinces, no formal scan had been completed in PEI. We now have a better understanding of where improvements can be made to the food environment in Island recreation settings. Findings from this scan show that many offerings do not support healthy eating. We encourage you to read the full Healthy Eating in PEI Recreation Settings: A provincial scan of food environments report to:
- Increase knowledge and awareness of: (a) the food environment of recreation settings on PEI; and (b) the effect of these environments on child and youth food and beverage choices.
- Create policy change to increase access to healthier food and beverage options in recreation settings.
Limiting unhealthy food and beverage options in settings where children and youth spend time can positively impact their overall health.
Action Starter Kit
Recreation facilities can support healthy food environments for children and youth as they already promote healthy lifestyles through physical activity and social connections.
Since 2018, the Children’s Nutrition Committee has been engaging with those who work in recreation facilities to discuss challenges, opportunities, and readiness to integrate healthy and affordable options within vending machines and canteens.
To assist facility and canteen operators and municipalities in transitioning to healthier food and beverage offerings in their recreation facilities, Healthy Eating in PEI Recreation Settings: Action Starter Kit has been created to provide tangible next steps.
The Children’s Nutrition Committee has contributors and supporters from Heart & Stroke PEI, UPEI Department of Applied Human Sciences, Diabetes Canada Atlantic, Recreation PEI, Sport PEI, City of Charlottetown, Maximum Performance & Nutrition, and the PEI Department of Health & Wellness.