Healthy start tips as school year begins

Vancouver Island – Water is the key to a healthy start as we head back to school.

Children should be hydrated and their best defence against bringing home colds and flus is proper hand washing.

“Get your children into the habit of washing their hands frequently. Make it fun. Sing happy birthday twice while they scrub or find a soap scent that appeals to them,” says Dr. Dee Hoyano, Island Health Medical Health Officer. “There is no better way to prevent colds and the spread of germs in schools and daycares than hand washing

Along with a water bottle for hydration, children should also bring two healthy snacks and a well-balanced lunch to feed their active brains and bodies.


“Colour is the most visible indicator that your child’s lunch will successfully support learning,” says Areli Hermanson, Island Health dietitian. “Green and orange vegetables, blue and red fruit, we can tell by just by looking at them that they are packed with vitamins and nutrients.”
Our dietitian has these tips to make lunches healthy and fun: 

  • Pack protein: meat & alternatives (i.e. chicken, eggs and lentils)
  • Wash and chop vegetables and fruit so they’re ready to eat
  • Choose single-serving lower-fat milk, plain yogurt and cheese (not processed)
  • Substitute sandwiches with whole grain crackers or mini pitas

Please visit our Healthy Schools page for more information, including best start breakfast.

Central/North Island media inquiries:

Valerie Wilson
Director, Communications and Engagement

South Island media inquiries:

Meribeth Burton
Media Relations