This initiative aimed to teach the parents about the importance of nutrition in child development and ways to improve lunches and long term negative effects on unhealthy eating as proper nutrition is an important part of healthy child development. Newcomers to Canada are faced with numerous challenges, and by targeting the low income immigrant parents we hoped to provide some benefit from the additional information. The initiative was completed through the suggestion of the principal as he reported seeing a growing number of students bringing unhealthy lunches to school with no signs of improvement. With the increased consumption of junk food, the principal mentioned that some behavioural issues such as hyperactivity and decreased in concentration have been observed. This initiative therefore was appropriate as Taras (2005) states undernourishment is related to "decreased attendance, attention and academic performances" (as cited in Florence, Asbridge, & Veugelers, 2008, p. 210). Through the needs assessment we found that the school was multicultural consisting of Spanish, Somali, Arabic and Vietnamese population. The average income of the parents in this school was $38,000 and the ESL level was over 40% which depicts that most students were new to Canada and from a lower income families(Fraser institute, 2011). In comparison to the city's average, there are more hamper users residing in this neighbourhood which could imply that many families may require additional support and may not necessarily be getting the nutrients recommended by Canada's food guide (City of Edmonton, 2014). Children between the ages of 5 to puberty are in a state of steady growth and development are at risk for childhood obesity due to nutritional deficiencies, making this initiative relevant for this group (Baker, 2007). It is also important to teach the children about healthy eating early on as this is the age group that becomes aware and establishes their "food habits and family customs around eating" while also noticing and becoming more influenced on their body image by their peers and television (Baker, 2007, p.355).
The Ottawa charter outlinesthe concept of health promotion where it expands on the health determinants and discusses ways in which communities and individuals can reach an optimal level of health (Stanhope, Lancaster, Jessup-Falcioni, &Viverais-Dresler, 2010, p.116,). As the Ottawa charter emphasizes health promotion, during the assessment phase I thought using this model to provide health promotion where the parents gain more insight on enabling themselves to "increase control over, and to improve, their [and their children's] health" was most appropriate as the students have been bringing unhealthy lunches (Stanhope et al, 2010, p.637).Through this initiative we played a role of enablers as we were able to provide the parents with information and ways to access more information.
Nutrition is a topic that is...