Good nutrition is key to healthy living at all stages of life. Renfrew County and District Health Unit offers nutrition programs, resources and services to promote healthy eating and create supportive nutrition environments. We work to make the healthy choice the easy choice where you live, work, learn and play.
We do not provide individual nutrition counseling or complete the Special Diet Allowance (SDA) or Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Nutritional Allowance forms.
The Nutri-eSTEP screen is a fast and easy way for parents or caregivers to find out if their child is a healthy eater. Answer 17 short questions and learn what to work on to improve eating and activity habits.
To do the screen, visit www.nutritionscreen.ca or call EatRight Ontario at 1-877-510-5102 and speak with a Registered Dietitian for free.
Renfrew County and District Health Unit offers the NutriSTEP® preschool screen as part of the Healthy Babies Healthy Children home visiting service. It is also available to parents living in Renfrew County and District by request. Call 1-800-267-1097 or 613-735-8666.
Students need wholesome, tasty food and enjoyable eating experiences, but improving school nutrition can be challenging. BrightBites is a non-profit project that breaks this challenge down into fun, easy badges. Entire schools (elementary and secondary) or individual classes and groups can sign up as teams. By earning badges, teams rise up in the BrightBites Hall of Fame and receive recognition on social media. Teachers and other school leaders can use free BrightBites resources to guide their teams every step of the way. BrightBites is a fun, modern way to boost student well-being — one bite at a time.
Visit BrightBites for more information.
BrightBites was formerly named “Nutrition Tools For Schools”, and is written and maintained by Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health (OSNPPH) members.
Sip Smart!™ Ontario
Sugary drinks are everywhere. Pop, fruit “punch”, sports drinks and many other drinks have a lot of sugar. Too much sugar is not good for a child’s health. The extra calories in sugary drinks can add up quickly. This can lead to an unhealthy weight, putting a child at higher risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Reducing the intake of sugary drinks is a key strategy in curbing the rising rates of childhood obesity.
To learn more about Sip Smart!™ Ontario in the Community click here.
Sip Smart!™ Ontario is a licensed classroom educational program that helps teach children in grades 3 to 7 about sugary drinks and about making healthy drink choices.
If you are an educator and interested in learning more about Sip Smart!™ Ontario in your classroom click here.
Many people in Renfrew County and District do not have enough money to buy nutritious food. This is known as food insecurity or food poverty. Food insecurity is a serious public health problem.
The Cost of Eating Well
Public health visits local grocery stores every year to record prices for a list of foods – the Nutritious Food Basket survey. These prices help calculate the cost of a basic healthy diet.
Each year the survey results show that many low income people are often forced to choose between paying for food and paying other bills, like rent. When diets are poor and meals are skipped, people have higher rates of disease, mental health problems and health care use.
Read the 2015 report: The Cost of Eating Well in Renfrew County and District.
Responses to Food Insecurity
Food charity (food banks, soup kitchens) offers temporary food relief but is an ineffective response to food insecurity for many reasons.
Food charity does not address the root cause of food insecurity, which is poverty. The existence of food charity can also lead you to think that food insecurity is solved by donating to charity. This distracts us from real solutions. To effectively deal with food insecurity, an income response such as a basic income guarantee is required.
Public education and advocacy to address the root causes of food insecurity and hunger is needed. To learn more about the growing problem of food insecurity and the need for effective solutions, see the Position Statement on Responses to Food Insecurity and accompanying infographic from the Ontario Society of Nutrition Professionals in Public Health.
Eating well with Canada’s Food Guide
Canada’s Food Guide can help you eat a variety of foods in amounts needed to give you energy and proper nutrition, and reduce your risk for disease.
Do you have a question about food or nutrition? Whether you are a parent, consumer, health professional or community leader, the Registered Dietitians at EatRight Ontario have the answer. To speak with an EatRight Ontario dietitian, call toll-free at 1-877-510-5102.
Visit EatRight Ontario to read healthy eating articles, watch videos, find recipes and get tools to help you with menu planning, portion sizes and setting goals.