As part of the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health (NPAPH), Western Australia has been funded by the Australian Government to develop and implement a multi-program Healthy Children initiative targeting children up to 16 years of age through a range of settings. In response, the Department of Health is leading the implementation of the WA Healthy Children Program (WA HChP) which is being delivered in partnership with the not-for-profit sector and other agencies.
The WA HChP aims to reduce the risk of chronic disease and contribute to the healthy development of children and young people by addressing the risk factors of overweight and obesity, poor nutrition and physical inactivity.
The WA HChP comprises of a suite of programs to be delivered through a range of settings, including schools, child care services and the community.
WA Healthy Schools Project (WAHSP)
Delivered by the Child and Adolescent Health Service and the WA Country Health Service, the WAHSP promotes and facilitates implementation of best practice healthy eating and physical activity initiatives in school policies, structures, programs and environments. There is a particular focus on supporting WA schools with a high proportion of at risk or disadvantaged students.
Participating schools are supported through a variety of mechanisms including provision of advice/support/facilitation from local Healthy Schools Officers, small program grants, provision of a range of materials (such as healthy lifestyle policy templates), facilitated access to other healthy lifestyle programs and information and support from fellow schools via sustainability networks.
Delivered by the Cancer Council WA, the Crunch&Sip® program targets WA primary school students aged 4 to 12 years.
Schools participating in the program provide a set break for students to eat fruit or vegetables and drink water in the classroom.
Cultural and environmental change is also facilitated by requiring participating schools to commit to healthy eating through implementing a fruit, vegetable and water policy and incorporating healthy eating messages into school curriculum.
Healthy School Food and Drink Project
Funding is provided to the Department of Education to continue to support the implementation of the Healthy Food and Drink Policy in Western Australian public schools through the following mechanisms:
provision of advice, support and training to school canteen staff and other relevant stakeholders
parent education strategies
strategies to support increased compliance with the policy in school canteens and in the wider school environment (e.g. classroom rewards and cooking activities, school camps and excursions).
School food and nutrition curriculum support materials
Edith Cowan University has been funded to develop a suite of online age-appropriate school food and nutrition curriculum support materials for years Kindergarten – 10.
Online professional development will also be developed to encourage and support teachers to incorporate food and nutrition, healthy eating and food preparation skills in a range of learning areas.
Materials are expected to be available Term 1, 2014.
Eat, Play, Thrive
Ngala has been funded to develop and deliver a multi-session, community-based education program targeted at WA parents (and caregivers) of children aged 12 months to 12 years.
The program covers a broad range of physical activity and healthy eating topics and is being promoted to parents through existing groups and settings.
Service delivery commenced in August 2013. Delivery will be staged across metropolitan and regional areas.
Online professional development about talking with parents about children’s weight
The Better Health Company has been funded to develop a free, online professional development training package to equip health professionals working with parents and children, to raise and constructively discuss the issue of child overweight and obesity with parents of overweight or obese children.
Register to complete the training by visiting the Talking About Weight website www.talkingaboutweight.org (External link)
or calling 1300 822 953.
Fuel Your Future
- Fuel Your Future is a joint initiative of Diabetes WA and Foodbank WA. It is a community based adolescent cooking and food literacy program targeting disadvantaged teenagers. The program uses a combination of face to face cooking workshops and online activities to improve participants’ skills and nutritional knowledge.
- Fuel Your Future will be launching in July 2014. It will be rolled out across metropolitan Perth and will eventually spread to regional areas.
- Fuel Your Future website can be accessed here: www.fuelyourfuture.com.au (External link)
The Better Health Program
- Delivered by the Better Health Company, the Better Health Program is an evidence based healthy lifestyle program for children aged 7–13 years who are above a healthy weight and their families.
- Sessions deliver combined education about nutrition, physical activity and behaviour change and children have a one hour physical activity session with a trained professional.
- The program runs for 10 weeks during each school term at various locations across Perth and is free for families to attend.
- Visit the Better Health Program website (external website) for more information.