March 8, 2010 - Starting today, dietitians and food service staff at St. Joseph’s Care Group will be on the lookout to catch employees eating vegetables and fruit. During National Nutrition Month, March 8th to 12th, staff members who “get caught” will receive gift certificates to their own cafeterias or other prizes.
The “Get Caught” contest is a project of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s Eat Smart! Committee to reward positive healthy food choices and increase fruit and vegetable consumption.
“We are excited that all four St. Joseph Care Group sites with cafeterias are now Eat Smart! Certified” said Kim McGibbon, Public Health Dietitian. “This means that for staff at these locations, the healthy choice is the easy choice. We’re also looking forward to implementing the new Paint Your Plate Challenge throughout March for all Care Group employees.”
Fruits and vegetables offer many nutritional benefits. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Research has shown that eating seven to ten servings of fruits and vegetables a day can help employees reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases. Unfortunately, 53% of residents in Ontario consume less than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
"The Leadership Team, Wellness Committee, Registered Dietitians, and Nutrition & Food Services of St. Joseph's Care Group are pleased to partner with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit for the Paint Your Plate Challenge during Nutrition Month,” says Tracy Buckler, President & CEO of St. Joseph’s Care Group. “The Challenge is a fun and unique initiative designed to improve health and well-being by encouraging all of us to make fruits and vegetables a part of every meal."
Eat Smart! is a provincial program designed to encourage healthy food choices and food safety in school and worksite cafeterias across the province. The overall goal of Eat Smart! is to contribute to the reduction of food borne illness and chronic disease in Ontario. Eight worksite cafeterias in the district of Thunder Bay are Eat Smart! certified this year in comparison to the seven worksite cafeterias certified last year.
More information about the Eat Smart! Cafeteria Program, including a list of currently certified Eat Smart! cafeterias can be found at TBDHU.com.