Award recognises playcentre's diet, exercise efforts

Children from Mosgiel Playcentre get some exercise last week. The play-centre has been awarded...
Children from Mosgiel Playcentre get some exercise last week. The play-centre has been awarded the top Healthy Heart Award by the New Zealand Heart Foundation. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.

Introducing healthy habits to preschoolers has earned the Mosgiel Playcentre the Heart Foundation's top Healthy Heart Award.

The play-centre had been working on the programme for two years and celebrated the awarding of the gold star or Pa-Harakeke Award last Friday. Play-centre supervisor Christine Mitchell said the children and their parents were ''very knowledgeable''.

The programme was about setting good habits early in life and included good nutrition and physical activity, Mrs Miller said.

The centre has produced a set of lunch-box guidelines and a supporting pamphlet to help parents when selecting food for their child's day.

One of the centre's parents - Q-t-a Amun - is also a health promotion co-ordinator for the Heart Foundation.

She said much parent input had gone into the programme and parents were finding more ways to put fruit and vegetables into lunches and snacks.

''Mosgiel Playcentre should be incredibly proud of their efforts and achievements. Establishing healthy habits in the early years provides children with a strong foundation for good health and wellbeing throughout their lives.''

Parent Rochelle Duncan said it was great to be involved with the children in learning about where foods came from.

Polytech students had also been coming in to help work with the children on active movement programmes.

Early learning centres that take part in the healthy heart programme are assessed every two years to make sure they are still meeting their requirements.

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