Healthy Eating

picnic

When it comes to healthy eating, it's easy to be confused by the barrage of misinformation out there. But it doesn't have to be. Here are three easy rules for healthy eating:

  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit
  • Eat real food - that is freshly prepared with basic ingredients (ideally, cooked at home).
  • Minimize consumption of processed foods and drinks.

BCHLA continues to advance policies which can help people across BC to eat, drink and live healthier. Below is a list of the policies we currently promote:

  • The provincial government can coordinate actions to improve access to healthy food and food skills in rural and remote communities.
  • Increase information on options by requiring nutritional labeling on the menus of large-scale restaurant chains in BC.
  • The provincial government can work with the federal government to limit the marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children.
  • Discourage unhealthy choices by applying a provincial excise tax to food and drinks high in sugar, salt and fat that have minimal nutritional value.
  • Adjust Income Assistance support rates to account for the actual cost of fresh and healthy food.
  • Ensure all lands with the highest capability of agricultural production are captured within the Agricultural Land Reserve and are used for what they were intended.
  • Provide incentives to encourage local agricultural production and marketing (e.g. family farms, community gardens, farmers markets, BuyBC programs) and apply disincentives for those using agricultural land for residential use only. Provide resources and capacity building opportunities that assist First Nations to farm available arable land on reserve.
  • Review agricultural policies with input from small scale producers to ensure that policies promote local food production and direct purchasing from consumers.
  • Recognize First Nations interests with respect to stewardship and access to lands and waters from which traditional diets are sustained.
  • Ensure access to quality drinking water. Priority should be given to remote First Nations communities with all levels of government working together to address this issue.
  • Review provincial legislation that limits the use of traditional foods in First Nations daycares, schools and elders facilities. 

BCHLA Healthy Eating Initiatives

BC families need healthy foods to be readily available and reasonably priced as well as the skills and knowledge to make sound snack and meal choices.

That's why the initiatives we funded as part of our BCHLA Healthy Eating Strategy reached out to families where they work, play and learn.

From 2007 to 2010, BCHLA funded and delivered four healthy eating initiatives.

Healthy Food and Beverages at School, Work and Play
Healthy changes in schools, recreation facilities and local government buildings

Summary of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research evaluation of the Healthy Food and Beverages at School Work and Play initiative.

Farm to School Salad Bar
Fresh, locally-grown produce delivered directly to BC kids

Summary of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research evaluation of the Farm to School Salad Bar initiative.

Food Skills for Families
BC's most disadvantaged families select and prepare healthy food.

Food Skills for Families Evaluation Report.

Sip Smart!
BC kids learn about sugar in drinks and their bodies

Summary of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research evaluation of the Sip Smart! BC initiative. 

For copies of complete evaluations for these initiatives contact shartleyfolz@bchealthyliving.ca

Stats to Snack On…

  • 61% of British Columbian children aged 12-18 do not eat the minimum recommendation of five daily servings of vegetables and fruit.
  • Reduction of sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has been identified as possibly "the best single opportunity to curb the obesity epidemic."

Looking for more interesting facts about healthy eating?
Check out our media-room backgrounder