As a parent, you have a strong influence on your children’s diets – and not just at home. You can also play a vital role in what food and drinks are served at your children’s early learning service or school.
It’s all around us
If you head down to your nearest mall or playground this weekend, you’ll see dozens of children laughing and playing. Now look a little closer and you’ll see that one in every three is either obese or overweight.
Obesity is no longer something that affects other countries. We may be famous for our All Blacks, Black Caps and Olympic rowers, but New Zealand now has the third highest rate of obesity in the world – and our rates are rising.
Sadly, our children are growing up in a society where unhealthy foods and drinks are readily available, and often heavily marketed at them.
Childhood obesity is not the result of lifestyle choices by children. Unlike adults, children are not in control of the factors that cause their obesity. That means leaving them to make healthy choices is not going to work. That’s where you come in.
What can I do?
- Ask to see your early learning service or school’s Food and Drink Policy – if you think it could be better, speak up.
- Ask if your early learning service or school is involved in any Heart Foundation programmes. If not, challenge them to get involved.
- Suggest healthy fundraisers.
- If you volunteer to help in the school canteen or on camps, ensure healthy options are available.
- Read our case studies to see how others schools have made changes!
Thank you for your feedback.
The Fuelled4life team.