Creating more opportunities to eat well and be active.

Even with skills and knowledge, many Nova Scotians cite a lack of time, money, and access as key barriers to healthy eating and physical activity. Also, it’s often difficult to continuously resist less healthy choices that are in our environments, and highly promoted through media and marketing.

Affordable, appealing, healthy options must be available in the places we live, learn, commute, work, and play before we can expect healthy eating and physical activity to become part of our daily routines. Often this requires the development of policies.

Woman holding a cup of blueberriesPolicy work is not easy but it is important in creating change that can help all Nova Scotians. That's why Thrive! focuses on policies related to food security, limiting fat, sugar, salt and caffeine in the food supply, decreasing marketing to children, increasing physical activity while decreasing sedentary time, and more.

What's happening

  • Expanding food and nutrition policies, standards and guidelines into more public institutions including hospitals, universities and colleges, provincial government, and recreation and sport settings. For example, some communities have developed healthy eating policies for sport and recreation settings.
  • Supporting the charitable organization Nourish Nova Scotia as a sustainable model for schools to offer breakfast programs, with potential to expand with lunch and snack programs, vegetable and fruit campaigns, cooking skills programs, and farm-to-school initiatives. Access to a basic nutritious diet helps all students grow and learn.
  • Giving children more time and space for free, unstructured play that builds physical activity into their daily routine and teaches them physical literacy skills for life. It is shifting the culture in early childhood, school and social settings.
  • Working with schools and communities to establish After the Bell, a program offering junior high students in rural areas a wide variety of free, safe opportunities to be physically active at a time of day when young people are often less active.
  • Working to build capacity in the public health system to help address the issue of marketing to children and youth. The Health Education curriculum is also helping children and youth develop critical analysis and media literacy skills.

Visit our Resources for tools, resources and ideas to make change in your community.