Social Development

Healthy Kids Community Challenge

The Healthy Kids Community challenge is a key part of Ontario's Healthy Kids Strategy. The strategy is a cross-government initiative to promote children's health. It focuses on:  a healthy start in life, healthy food, and healthy active communities.

Toronto is one of 45 communities across Ontario participating in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge to support the well-being of our children. The City of Toronto oversees four lead agencies that were selected to deliver the program in four communities across Toronto:

  • Rexdale Community Health Centre in Rexdale
  • Black Creek Community Health Centre in Humber-Downsview
  • South Riverdale Community Health Centre in Danforth-East York
  • Boys and Girls Club of East Scarborough in Central Scarborough


Through the lead agency, these communities receive resources from the Province of Ontario including funding, training and social marketing tools to help promote:

  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Healthy behaviours for children

The challenge runs until March 2018 with a new theme being introduced every 9 months.

The challenge provides numerous benefits for children and their families including:

  • Skills for staying active and eating well
  • Supports with making healthy choices
  • Links to supports within the community
  • Opportunities to be involved and included
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Theme 1: Run. Jump. Play. Every Day

Theme 1 (September 2015 - June 2016) encourages physical activity through a mix of active play, active transportation, sports and structured physical activity.

Please click here to download the Run. Jump. Play. Every Day. Brochure and Fact Sheet.

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Theme 2: Water Does Wonders

Benefits of water consumption (July 2016 - March 2017)

  • Water makes up more than half of a child’s body weight. It is an essential nutrient
  • Children need lots of water to stay hydrated and keep their bodies working properly. Water regulates the temperatures of the human body. It carries nutrients and oxygen to cells. It cushions organs and joints. It also aids digestion and removes waste
  • Water has no sugar, calories, additives, or caffeine. This makes it the smart choice for sipping throughout the day.
  • When kids drink water in place of sugar-sweetened beverages, they are more likely to take in fewer total calories each day
  • Most tap water is fluoridated. This means that it helps teeth stay strong and protects against cavities
  • Lack of water can lead to dehydration. This condition occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

Please click here to download Water Does Wonders Fact Sheet.


Theme 3: Choose to Boost Veggies and Fruit

The objective of Theme 3 is to increase vegetable and fruit consumption in children, by encouraging kids and families to make vegetables and fruit a part of every meal and snack.

Research shows that increasing vegetable and fruit consumption requires comprehensive, multi-component approaches that address many factors, such as:

  • Access to and availability of vegetables and fruit
  • Supportive environments
  • Cultural and organizational norms
  • Public policy
  • Individual knowledge and skills

The timing of Theme 3, (April to December 2017) creates a great opportunity to take advantage of Ontario’s growing season

Please click here to download Background & Evidence Fact Sheet