The Healthy Kids Community Challenge (HKCC) is an initiative funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to support the well-being of children. The challenge focuses on promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy behaviours for children under the age of twelve, using social media marketing tools, training, and funding for community projects. Fourty-five communities across Ontario were chosen to participate in the challenge over the three year funding period.

London and Middlesex were both chosen to be a part of this initiative to help children lead healthier lives. The HEAL is working with the HKCC to execute their goals of the challenge in the most efficient and effective way. A community needs assessment was created by the HEAL for both London and Middlesex in order to gain a greater understanding of the individual neighborhoods and townships as well as the communities as a whole. We have also been involved in community consultation in both London and Middlesex to see how best to use the funds from the HKCC initiative. Photos from our events can be found above.

Thirteen neighbourhoods were chosen based off a priority designation made by the Child and Youth Network (CYN) London representing 78 elementary schools in the city. The funds available through this initiative will help the CYN create a greater impact in the London community. They will support existing and facilitate new projects that align with both the HKCC and CYN’s goals to support children’s healthy active lifestyles.

Priority Neighbourhoods: Argyle, Carling, East London, Glen Cairn, Hamilton Road, Highland, Huron Heights, Medway, Southcrest, West London, Westminster, Westmount, and White Oaks.

Run. Jump. Play. Every Day.

The first theme of the Health Kids Community Challenge is Run. Jump. Play. Every Day. This theme was launched in September 2015 and encourages physical activity through a mix of active play, active transportation, sports and structured physical activity.

Water Does Wonders

Water Does Wonders is the second theme in the series of The Healthy Kids Community Challenge. The focus of this project is on drinking more water and drinking fewer sugary beverages.

Dr. Jason Gilliland and his research team from Western University are studying how the implementation of water filling station in elementary schools and additional water education programs influence children’s water consumption and knowledge.

The study involves students from grades 4 through 8 at participating elementary schools across London.

Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit

The third theme of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge is Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit. This theme encourages kids and families to eat healthier and to make vegetables and fruits part of their everyday lives. Whether fresh, frozen or canned, fruits and vegetables help provide children and families with the vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, and overall energy needed to be physically active.

Power Off and Play!

The fourth theme of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge is Power Off and Play!  This theme promotes powering off devices before sleep, during meal and snack time, and encourages plenty of physical activity, social interaction, family time and fun. It’s all about helping children and families to build a balanced day not filled with screen time.

For further information about the HKCC Provincial initiative check out the link here

For further information about the City of London’s HKCC initiative check out the link here.

The Community needs assessment is also available here.

For further information about HEAL’s role in HKCC, contact:

Dr. Jason Gilliland
Director, HEAL Lab
Principal Investigator