Canada Games 2013 Ban Junk Food for the First Time in History
August 05, 2013
Sodexo Canada to feed athletes with nutritionally-potent and tasty foods. Celebrity Chef Michael Smith leads presentation on best food choices to fuel competitive athletes.
SHERBROOKE, August 6, 2013 – The Canada Summer Games – Sherbrooke 2013 that are being held in August are the first Games in Canadian history to ban junk food from their premises and Sodexo Canada is proud to be part of this turning point.
“Since all Canada Games’ athletes are fed by Sodexo, it is important for us to ensure that our menus are providing them both with healthy, nutritionally-potent ingredients as well as tasty meals,” explains Dean Johnson, President, Sodexo Canada. “This is our way to help Canadian athletes achieve their best performances this summer.”
Healthy offerings that do not sacrifice taste
While working with the Canada Games organizers, Sodexo has put together a menu respecting the Food and Beverage Policy put in place by the Games. The various recipes were hand pick from Sodexo’s recipe database and approved by Martin Fréchette, head nutritionist for the Canada Games. To ensure the success of their food offering during the Games, the menu was tested at the Rugby National Championships held at Bishop last summer. The end result: a healthy menu that will make junk food look pale in comparison to the colorful and tasty options provided.
Even though Sodexo is used to serving large groups of customers on a daily basis in hundreds of cafeterias across the country, some adaptations had to be made to double its capacity on the Bishop Campus and serve 2,000 athletes at the same time. A total of 65 people from the local community were hired for the event and Sodexo is hoping to retain the services of some of them for the coming academic year.
Supporting the Canada Games was a natural fit for Sodexo, which has always been concerned with providing healthy food options.
“We believe that when healthy eating tastes good and satisfies hunger, people are more likely to stick with it,” explains Mr. Johnson. “And when healthy eating becomes a way of life, people thrive, and so does their performance and quality of life.”
Feeding young athletes at home, not always an easy task for parents
Sodexo Canada has a long standing relationship with celebrity Chef Michael Smith when it comes to healthy eating. Sodexo Canada requested the popular chef’s participation in the Canada Games activities. On top of serving meals for the athletes on August 8, Chef Michael will spend time advising parents on how to cook the best meals for their little champions at home.
Even though young athletes are more concerned than average teenagers on the importance of healthy eating, it is often their parents who end up with the daunting task of cooking meals that will best prepare their kids for a strong sport performance.
“With youth on their side, teenagers often have no interest in the food they eat,” states Chef Michael Smith, Food Network Host, Nutritional Activist and Food Media Producer. “But even if they get away with it now, poor food habits will end up having negative effects down the road and will limit their progress as athletes. That's why it's so important to help parents prepare simple, tasty meals that provide natural fuel for their athletes.” Chef Smith is renowned for his simple approach to cooking and for demystifying a healthy food lifestyle.
Chef Michael Smith and Sodexo’s nutritionist, Christiane Azzi, will be doing a presentation on the best food choices to make before performing competitive sports and will give examples of easy meals to prepare. A panel of athletes and parents will discuss the challenges of eating before a competition following the presentation. The event takes place at 1:30 PM on August 8 in the QUAD at Bishop University.
See all our photos from the 2013 Canada Summer Games on Flickr