When parents drop their children to Faamasani Aoga Amata in Massey, they know that their children are learning how to keep happy and healthy to give them a great start to life.
Children have recently been provided with their own drink bottle to fill with water and there is a plumbed in water fountain that the children are free to use.
“We realised that even though we encourage drinking water in the centre, it wasn’t enough because children were only drinking water when they had their lunch or outdoor play. Now that each child has a water bottle with their name on it, we give water to children at morning tea time, lunch and afternoon tea or whenever they need it,” says Head Teacher Lusila Moemai.
Teaching staff introduced the drink bottles to encourage water as part of the children’s routine in the centre and parents are positive about the promotion of healthy eating.
“We have had feedback from some of parents about the changes in their babies who are now eating better and feeling full. Both parents and teachers noticed the changes”, says Head Teacher Lusila Moemai.
Teaching staff reviewed healthy eating practices in the centre after completing a Pacific community nutrition course delivered by the Heart Foundation. The benefits of making small changes since the course are wide reaching.
“We used to give a milk bottle to babies after their lunch, but now we give them water instead. We also decided to let babies and toddlers play around after their lunch before they sleep. In doing that, we hope to prevent their risk of obesity”
“As teachers, we also do our challenge every week of lose weight and hopefully it works,” says Lusila.
Healthy Families WaitakereActivator Sophia Bloomfield has been supporting the centre to create an environment that is health promoting for parents, staff and children.