Healthy, well-nourished children are better learners, so theprovince has started working with school boards to see thatchildren are offered healthy food choices at school. “A healthy body is essential to developing a healthy mind,” saidHealth Promotion Minister Rodney MacDonald. “The departments ofEducation, Agriculture and Fisheries and the Office of HealthPromotion are committed to supporting our schools, parents andcommunities in improving the health of our children.” A report that outlines suggested solutions that support healthyeating in Nova Scotia’s schools was released today, Aug. 26, bythe Office of Health Promotion. Food and Nutrition in Nova ScotiaSchools is based on a survey undertaken in the summer of 2003 ofschool board program directors and principals from elementary,junior and senior high schools. The survey examined currentsituations, issues and potential opportunities for improvementrelated to food choices in schools. The province will use the information in the report, whileworking with school boards, principals and other educationpartners to develop a new provincial policy to support healthyfood choices in schools. “Our schools play an important role in helping children and youthmake healthy food choices,” said Education Minister Jamie Muir.”With a policy framework to guide them, schools will be betterable to help students develop healthy nutrition habits that willprovide lifelong benefits.” One aspect of the policy will address providing healthy foodchoices that are locally grown and produced. “We are so fortunate to have high quality, safe foods grown righthere in the province,” said Chris d’Entremont, Minister ofAgriculture and Fisheries. “It’s important to teach youth abouthealthy food choices and also about accessing and using thequality products that are available right here in Nova Scotia.” While some schools were not originally designed or equipped asplaces to provide food for students, increases in the number ofstudents who stay at school over lunch hour has resulted ingrowing dependence on food offered at school. Schools have alsobeen identified as having influence over children’s food choices. The report can be found on the Office of Health Promotion’swebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/ohp/healthyeating.html, under reportsand publications.