Eating habits are developed during childhood and if encouraged to enjoy healthier food and drink early, it is more likely that these positive behaviours will remain with children and young people throughout their life.
Children and young people spend, on average, a quarter of their waking lives in schools. The knowledge they develop in classrooms about a healthy diet, the foods and drinks available at schools, as well as the view towards health taken by the whole school community, can have a major influence on children and young people.
This is the reason Holy Trinity Primary School undertook an initiative to reach statewide benchmarks for Healthy Eating (HE) and Oral Health (OH) as part of the Victorian Government’s Achievement Program. The EACH Health Promotion Team would like to congratulate Holy Trinity on becoming the first school within the Knox area to receive recognition as a Health Promoting School for HE & OH.
The Achievement Program is an evidence based framework, based on the World Health Organisations ‘Health Promoting School’ model to create healthy environments where people work, learn and play.
“By assisting Holy Trinity PS to meet statewide benchmarks for Health Eating and Oral Health the EACH Health Promotion Team is supporting the school to engage students, teachers and parents to develop a shared responsibility for food in schools”, said Catherine Delaney, Health Promotion Officer at EACH.
The EACH Health Promotion Team has worked closely with Holy Trinity Primary School over the past 3 years to take a whole of school approach to promote consistent messages of healthy eating habits to children.
Holy Trinity achieved ‘Health Promoting School’ status for Healthy Eating and Oral Health by implementing a number of actions including:
- Identified a champion and gained leadership support to prioritise healthy eating and promote consistent messages for children and whole school community to make healthier choices
- Shared positive health messages around healthy eating regularly in their school newsletter
- Adapted their Healthy Eating and Oral Health policy to meet the standards set by The Achievement Program. This involved engaging the whole school community in a step by step process to remove cookies (high in sugar) from their subway canteen menu
- Worked closely with The EACH Health Promotion Team to make necessary changes to their canteen menu in order to meet The Healthy Eating Advisory Service guidelines for a healthy school canteen
- Displayed colourful and informative ‘Sugar’ and ‘Healthy Lunchbox’ posters that were created by the students and supported by the EACH Health Promotion Team.
For more information on this initiative or how your school can improve the health and wellbeing of students, staff and families, please contact Catherine Delaney, Health Promotion Officer on (03) 9757 6278 (Catherine.firstname.lastname@example.org) or Belinda Vaughan, Health Promotion Officer on (03) 97576236 (Belinda.Vaughan@each.com.au).