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Healthy attitudes on the Bay
Tusarvik students go all out during Drop The Pop campaign

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Students at Tusarvik School in Repulse Bay are among the most dedicated in Nunavut when it comes to supporting the annual Drop The Pop campaign.

NNSL photo/graphic

Lorena Siusangnark, left, Madeline Kringuk, Kathy Katokra and Rosalie Ijjangiaq are busy preparing healthy snacks at Tusarvik School in Repulse Bay recently. - photo courtesy of Jennifer Perry

The students go all out during the month-long event, preparing and delivering healthy snack choices to each classroom every school day, as well as encouraging each other to leave the soda pop alone as much as possible.

Tusarvik's teachers dedicate class time to better educate the students on the benefits of making healthy choices when their stomachs growl during the day.

Grade 7 teacher Carol Kennedy said reaching for a can of pop when thirst strikes is, in reality, more of a habit than a choice.

She said she's found once the youths are introduced to healthier choices, a good number of them tend to stick with them.

"It's important for everyone, but especially youths, to have a balanced diet," said Kennedy.

"There's nothing nutritious about having a can of pop and a bag of chips, which can never replace a meal.

"We have to think about the four food groups and the Nunavut Food Guide, so we do lots and lots of lessons on that at Tusarvik.

"Our biggest message during the campaign is there are better choices than junk food when you're hungry or thirsty."

Kennedy's Grade 7 students take on the responsibility of preparing the snack portions during the month and making the delivery to each classroom.

Kennedy said her students enjoy being busy little bees and taking on the responsibility for the healthy snacks during the campaign.

She said the proof is in the healthy pudding when it comes to the results.

"Most schools in Nunavut take part in this because it produces results.

"We recently had a bunch of students in the school on the weekend to play sports, and we put a bunch of snacks out for them afterwards.

"We put out cheese, fruits and vegetables, along with one plate of cookies.

"When the kids were finished eating, everything was gone except the cookies, so that shows the power of introducing tasty, healthy alternatives for snack food."

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