National event presses for healthier food in schools

More than 40 kindergarten students and MPs simultaneously bit into apples on Parliament Hill Thursday morning.

They were joined by almost 250,000 people across the country as part of the “Great Big Crunch”, which celebrates healthy food and highlights a need for more healthy food in schools.

Sasha McNicoll is the Coordinator of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, which supports the event.

According to McNicoll, only 33 per cent of children eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day, and a lot of kids miss breakfast.

She says the Coalition for Healthy School Food is pushing for a national school food program to help kids eat healthier.

Right now, Canada has a patchwork of different programs at different schools.

 “There’s a lot of areas where children don’t have access to these programs, and that’s a serious problem,” McNicoll said.

“We know that school food programs lead to healthier eating, and we want to curb the rates of childhood obesity and chronic disease, and we want to do something to reduce the healthcare cost for the next generation.”

McNicoll says school food programs are so important because of the amount of time kids spend at school.