Thank you to our friends at Care2 for their support of the OHEA petition urging the Government of Ontario to make at least one food and nutrition course compulsory!
Petition Urges Ontario to Make Food & Nutrition Compulsory
A Care2 petition from the Ontario Home Economics Association
has gathered more than 1,000 signatures
OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- The Ontario Home Economics Association (OHEA) is calling on the Premier of Ontario, the Minister of Education and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to make at least one food and nutrition course a requirement for students to complete their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. The Care2 petition has 1,061 signatures.
VIEW THE PETITION HERE: http://www.care2.com/go/z/ontfoodcrs
The OHEA wants to ensure all students receive food education to help them make informed decisions about what they eat. One in three Canadian children and youth are overweight or obese -- a threefold increase in the past 30 years, according to recently published research in the journal BMC Pediatrics.
Hospitals that treat severe childhood obesity, like the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, report long waiting lists for children hoping to enter their programs. Doctors who specialize in treating childhood obesity have found an alarming number of preschoolers are overweight or obese -- some have difficulty moving and develop sleep-disordered breathing and sleep apnea.
As the OHEA says, “Ontario grads can be part of the solution to reduce the strain on healthcare by reducing risks of obesity, Type II diabetes and high blood pressure. They could save more of their hard-earned income by spending less on food and benefit from family time around the dinner table!”
Educating all students about food and nutrition choices is essential to help them lead healthy lifestyles, OHEA says. Today, few children learn to cook and prepare meals at home,. At the same time, they are bombarded with advertising urging them to eat fast food and highly processed foods. OHEA hopes a nutrition course will help students understand food labels, stick to a food budget, and reduce food waste -- these are life-time skills.
In 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Education released 20 new and revised Family Studies courses, several of which are related to food and nutrition. The OHEA’s Care2 petition calls for these courses to be prioritized and to make healthy eating and food literacy a focus for all students.
With more than 25 million engaged members, Care2 (www.Care2.com) is the largest online community of activists, now in its 15th year of making a difference for the environment, human and animal rights, and other causes. Care2.com, Inc. is a B Corporation, or social enterprise, using the power of business as a force for good.
by Sandra Venneri, B.Sc. (Hon), P.H.Ec.
We hear buzz words all the time in the health, nutrition and food industries. The one that I believe that covers so many bases that everyone should know is Food Literacy.
Becoming part of a new generation of Professional Home Economists (P.H.Ec.) was a very easy decision to make when applying for my designation. It was my way of life. It is something today's society views as very traditional, almost 1950s-ish, yet is more relevant than ever!
Food literacy is a part of what a PHEc is able to teach, mentor or guide families, individuals and community groups in. It encompasses not only food and cooking skills, but grocery budgets, local foods and farmers (think farm to fork initiatives), environmental sustainability and food security, backyard and container gardens and so much more.
At a time with obesity and health issues on the rise, everyone finds preventative health a priority. Yet there are many obstacles to leading a healthy life in this fast-paced, technologically driven world. So the Ontario Home Economics Association has launched a new website, www.food-literacy.ca, to promote how to get back to the basics of learning, building self-confidence as well as encouraging our communities to get excited and more knowledgeable about our food in so many different ways. I encourage you to visit the website and learn more about Food Literacy and the buzz surrounding it.
We are not born with the knowledge and skills in food, cooking and nutrition; it is learned and some recent generations and people have missed out on this lesson - maybe even you! And we can always learn more than we did before (never stop learning and growing). Check out the website and you might just find out something new and interesting that will make your day easier or your lifestyle even better.
After all, everyone has to eat every day to provide nourishment for body, mind and soul. So let's get back to the basics that might have been lost along the way.
Please visit http://www.ohea.on.ca/uploads/1/2/6/0/12605917/food_literacy_release.pdf for a great article by Mary V. Carver, P.H.Ec. recently published on the same topic.
Sandra Venneri is a Professional Home Economist with a degree in Nutritional & Nutraceutical Sciences. She is currently working towards becoming a Registered Dietitian at Brescia University College. Her passion for a holistic life is evident on her social media sites. Twitter: @nutritionbites8, Facebook: nutritionbitescanada and Instagram: nutritionbites.