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Building Healthy Schools

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Building Healthy Schools

Published: 10/15/2014 by CBE

» Health & Wellness

The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) believes in a whole-school approach to health and wellness. The Comprehensive School Health Approach isn’t just about healthy eating. It includes active living, supportive social environments and positive mental health. CBE has several inanities to promote a culture of healthy living.


Healthy Eating
Children and youth have different nutritional needs than adults. Proper nutrition is especially important during childhood and adolescence to:

  • Support optimal physical, cognitive, and social growth and development
  •  Develop healthy eating habits now and for the future
  • Achieve and maintain healthy body weights
  • Reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes


At Centennial High School students are turning away from chips, chocolate bars and pop to buying fruit, granola bars and fresh sandwiches from a “cruising café” right in their school. The cruising café food cart has become a sustainable, student-driven project. Highlights of the menu include homemade hummus and pita bread, granola bars, homemade naan, fresh salads and sandwiches.


Active living

Children and youth need to stay physically active every day. Being active can help protect against heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, depression and some types of cancer. Along with healthy eating, physical activity helps maintain a healthy weight.


Active children are more likely to:

  •  Feel better about themselves and their physical ability (and cope better with stress)
  • Do better in math, reading and memorization
  • Be more creative and ready to learn


At Prince of Wales School, Grade 1 – 6 students recently participated in a provincial initiative called Healthy U 5&1 Experiment. It is a provincial education campaign to support and encourage Albertans to lead healthier lifestyles. Students are inspired to get active with karate and to dance their way to health.


Positive Mental Health

Schools are a natural place for kids to engage in activities that build their confidence and enhance self-esteem. At Langevin School, for example, six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes recently brought a powerful message to Grade 7 – 8 students about her own struggles with mental health. Hughes talked about her feelings of loneliness, isolation, and growing up in a broken family. 


The goal of the Bell Let’s Talk event was to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Students learned mental health issues affect one in five people, but they have the power to do something about it. Resources are available to help children and youth struggling with mental health issues.




Healthy Eating 



Active Living


 Positive Mental Health