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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

December 13, 2007

West Coast Parents Urged To Make Family Time Healthy This Holiday

With the Christmas holidays almost upon us, it's time to use the kitchen or dining room table for more than just wrapping up presents, says Kim Sinclair of the Healthy Eating - Healthy Action Programme at the West Coast DHB.

Miss Sinclair is encouraging West Coast parents to make a commitment to sitting down and eating together as a family over the holiday period.

"This Christmas break why not make a real effort to sit down at meal times and eat with your kids? Eating together as a family can get your children into good eating habits for the rest of their lives. There is no better time to do this than when the whole whanau is around.

"When children sit down to eat with their family, sharing home-cooked food, they are more likely to eat healthier food, like vegetables" says Andrea Chisholm of Community & Public Health.

"And the whole family will benefit from spending time together, talking and sharing stories."

Sitting down and eating together is one of the messages from the Feeding our Futures healthy eating campaign. Feeding our Futures gives parents and caregivers information about accessible, affordable and easy ways that they can provide healthy diets for children.

"Evidence suggests that when good nutrition and healthy eating practices are established in childhood they are more likely to continue into adulthood, promoting good health and overall wellbeing for the future. Feeding our Futures focuses on helping New Zealand parents to establish good eating practices and healthy diets for children, to support them in continuing to eat healthily as they grow, " says Miss Chisholm.

Kim Sinclair says a number of initiatives encouraging healthy eating and physical activity are underway on the West Coast region. Tucking In - A Grow Your Own Initiative is well underway in West Coast schools and early childhood centres receiving their own 2m x 2m raised garden. The first round of Nutrition Fund application is also soon to be announced, with all seven secondary and area schools, 11 primary schools and 5 early childhood centres applying for funding. "It was fantastic to get such a great response to the Nutrition Fund. West Coast schools and early childhood centres are extremely innovative in their methods to create more healthy eating environments", Miss Sinclair. Details about successful Nutrition Fund applicants will be released next week.

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