Colour It Up! Program for Women 50+ Go for More Vegetables and Fruit

Organization Sponsor: Nutrition Resource Centre

Organization Partner: Ontario Public Health Association


Program Description

Colour It Up...Go for More Vegetables and Fruit is an exciting proven provincial program that helps women and their families learn to eat the number of servings of vegetables and fruit recommended by Canada's Food Guide. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruit every day can make us healthier and less likely to develop certain types of cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity and other diseases.

The Colour It Up Program is a community-based program designed to promote increased vegetable and fruit consumption to women ages 50+ and their families. The program generally runs once a week for six weeks. Each weekly session lasts about two hours. The Colour It Up Program helps women make changes in how they eat. It gives participants the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to eat more vegetables and fruit and achieve the recommended 7 to 8 Food Guide Servings each day.

In each session there are discussions, activities, recipes and snacks that help women to overcome challenges and build confidence in their ability to eat more vegetables and fruit. The program also teaches women ways to help their children enjoy vegetables and fruit.

There are a number of organizations across Ontario that offer the Colour It Up Program. The program may be run by your local Public Health Unit, a Community Health Centre, a hospital, or other community organization. Colour It Up for women ages 50+ is available in both English and French.

Program Approximate Cost: 


Funding Sources: 

Ministry of Health Promotion. Cancer Care Ontario, the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario are provincial partners.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The Colour It Up Program is provincially coordinated by the Nutrition Resource Centre (NRC) at the Ontario Public Health Association and supported by funding.

Impact Of Program: 

In fact, total vegetable and fruit consumption of the pilot program participants INCREASED THREE-FOLD from expected results from the literature.

Evaluation Tools: 

The program has been proven effective at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among women ages 19-50. A formal and rigorous evaluation of the Colour It Up: 5 -10 a day your way (Colour It Up) has demonstrated the success of this vegetable and fruit behavioural intervention program.

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Working with partners. For example the Toronto Public Health delivered a course recently at the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities. The Public Health Dietitian said. "SCHC was amazing – an ideal partnership! One health promoter at the SCHC took the lead to help promote the program, register participants and be present at each session."

Challenges To Meet Them: 

Promotion of the program at the community level. Many health professionals have become sponsors of this program in their communities.

Length and Stage of Project: 

The Colour It Up Program (originally TAKE Five) was developed by Cancer Care Ontario and pilot tested in 12 diverse Ontario communities in 2002. The impetus for the program stemmed from consistent scientific evidence indicating that increased vegetable and fruit consumption is an important factor in reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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