MONCTON (NB) – As the winners of the provincial Make Menus Matter campaign, students in Magnetic Hill School enjoyed a healthy lunch and a visit from a doctor and a dietitian today.
"Make Menus Matter was a resounding success, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to enjoy a healthy meal with the people who made it happen,” said Lynn Hansen, MD FRCPC, President of the New Brunswick Medical Society. “We’d like to thank the parents and students – including one from this school – who sent in their menus over recent months.”
Make Menus Matter was a campaign originally slated for two weeks in December, where doctors and dietitians asked New Brunswick parents to email a picture of their children’s cafeteria menus to assess the quality of food choices offered in school cafeterias province-wide.
“We’re still getting menus, and we’ve got about forty so far,” said Vanessa MacLellan, RD, Co-Chair of Dietitians in Action. “We were thrilled with the response and were surprised to see the variation in menus – some good, some not so good – from every corner in the province.”
Principal Nick Smith welcomed the offer of a healthy lunch for his Grade 7 class, which has recently been exploring healthy food choices in their curriculum. “I think this campaign was a terrific opportunity to raise awareness of healthy food choices in our schools,” he said.
The clinicians hosted the students for lunch in the school library, talked to them about healthy food choices, and explained what Make Menus Matter found in schools across the province.
“The Minister of Education has met with us to discuss our findings, and we hope this work results in a lasting impact,” said Dr Hansen. “School leaders, teachers, and parents are working very hard to provide an optimal learning environment– and sometimes a healthy meal makes a huge difference both in their learning and in their life-long health.”
The Care First plan released by the NBMS foreshadowed Make Menus Matter. Care First also called for gym classes through to graduation; stronger education on cooking and nutrition; and the promotion of ‘active classroom’ techniques, which have been proven to improve academic and health outcomes. These recommendations for schools are aligned with others for workplaces, hospitals, and nursing homes to help New Brunswickers live healthier lives.
CONTACT: Aleisha Bosch, New Brunswick Medical Society, (506) 458-8860 Ext. 633