Healthy eating top of the menu in Kingston
Published on 29 March 2023
Healthy eating is top of the menu for more than 540 children regularly attending the City of Kingston’s five Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services, with help from the Vic Kids Eat Well movement.
The five Kingston OSHC services that are part of Vic Kids Eat Well are at St Joseph’s Primary School, Chelsea Primary School, Southmoor Primary School, St Patrick's Primary School and Le Page Primary School.
The colourful and tasty changes made have received a ‘thumbs up’ from kids and staff.
Vic Kids Eat Well supports schools, outside school hours care, sports clubs and community organisations across the state to boost the delicious food and drink options they offer kids.
Kingston Council and its network of OSHC sites have benefited from local health promotion support provided by Central Bayside Community Health Services (now part of Better Health Network) as they progress through the changes suggested by Vic Kids Eat Well.
Kingston Mayor Hadi Saab said increasing food and drink options in places where children learn and play is a wonderful initiative.
“Not only are our children offered delicious snacks and breakfast, but they also learn all about where food comes from and healthy eating,” Cr Saab said.
“In a multicultural municipality like Kingston, the Vic Kids Eat Well program has the extra benefit of the children teaching each other and learning about food and recipes from our many cultures.”
Cr Saab said the enthusiasm shown by Kingston’s outside school hours care educators for the program was indicative of their passion for continually improving what they offer the children.
Both St Patrick’s Primary School OSHC and St Joseph’s Primary School OSHC run fortnightly cultural cooking experiences that are a big hit with students. Groups of children work independently and cooperatively while learning about nutrition.
OSHC teams have reported that by improving meals as part of Vic Kids Eat Well, the students are noticeably more excited for afternoon snacks, which has created a buzz among all involved.
The team at St Patrick's Primary School OSHC hold weekly discussions with the children to get ideas for menu plans. Children have been assisting with online ordering, adding more vegetable and dairy offerings.
Dr Tope Adepoyibi, Head of Vic Kids Eat Well at Cancer Council Victoria, congratulated the City of Kingston for their commitment to boosting kids’ health and wellbeing through making changes as part of Vic Kids Eat Well’s four simple action areas.
“We all want our kids to eat well wherever they are, including OSHC services. The City of Kingston has done a fantastic job, as we know that eating well helps kids’ concentration and improves their mood,” Dr Adepoyibi said.
“Working with their expert local health promotion expert, community organisations like Kingston’s OSHC services are supported to take small, achievable steps at their own pace and celebrate milestones along the way. Our free initiative harnesses the power of community to help grow the next generation of happy, healthy kids.”
Kayla Di Maio, Health Promotion Officer from Central Bayside Community Health Services (now part of Better Health Network) has been providing local health promotion support to these OSHC services.
"With Vic Kids Eat Well, we're supporting Kingston kids to have a great start to life with tasty, nutritious food and drink options. I love the cultural understanding these OSHC attendees gain.
“We're also supporting other local schools, outside school hours care services, sports clubs and recreation centres. We welcome other Kingston-based organisations to contact us. We can review their menu and help to select some simple changes as part of the Vic Kids Eat Well movement," Miss Di Maio said.
Vic Kids Eat Well is supported by the Victorian Government and delivered by Cancer Council Victoria’s Achievement Program, in partnership with Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service.
Join Vic Kids Eat Well for free at: vickidseatwell.health.vic.gov.au
About Vic Kids Eat Well
Vic Kids Eat Well helps schools, outside school hours care, sports clubs, and a wide range of community organisations to offer healthier food and drink options. Vic Kids Eat Well is supported by the Victorian Government, and is delivered by Cancer Council Victoria’s Achievement Program, in partnership with Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service. Visit vickidseatwell.health.vic.gov.au