Dr. Stephanie Ward is a professor at Université de Moncton and a Registered Dietitian. She’s always had an interest in pediatric nutrition, but her involvement in preschool nutrition (anything below 5) started with her PhD work with Healthy Start/Depart Santé project that’s happening in Saskatchewan and NB looking at how to impact healthy eating behaviours and physical activity in preschool kids, including the factors that have an impact in this population.
In NB they are looking at the possibility of a nutrition policy in child care centres, similar to what’s happening across the country as well.
A lot of eating and physical activity behaviours start in the first 5 years of life and influence the rest of the lifespan which is why it’s so important to start young.
Parents often have a hard time getting kids to eat well in those early years. When healthy behaviours are promoted in child care centres, that can help make healthy eating and physical activity behaviours easier.
When educators provide nutrition and physical activity education, even in an informal setting, that has an impact on how kids eat and play. Policy and education help with the how and why, and helps guide the child care centres in promoting healthy behaviours and creating a healthy environment.
Steph’s top 3:
Favourite place: St Andrews
Favourite food: Chocolate
Favourite activity: Running or Yoga!