Two Tuakau early childhood centres have accepted the national 5+ A Day Early Childhood Education Challenge that is shaping up to be a hit this
Tuakau Little Stars and Tuakau Kindergarten are ready to take part in the initiative, which promotes healthy eating by encouraging youngsters to eat at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day.
To participate in the Challenge, centres must hold a 5+ A Day themed event focused on healthy eating, or combine the 5+ A Day message with an existing event between February 1 to 29. Previous events have included shared lunches and picnics, sports days and art classes using fruit and vegetables.
Participating centres have the chance to win a $5,000 RRP Bosch kitchen appliance package, Fredge prize packs and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Tuakau Little Stars centre manager, Sharon Strang, says their children are excited for the challenge.
“The challenge fits in with our philosophy of sustainability. We teach our children how to grow their own fruit and vegetables in our garden. We are having a Teddy Bear Picnic on February 26, and hope to be able to use the produce that we have grown ourselves.
For the team at Tuakau Kindergarten, the challenge will help reiterate their motto of healthy eating. “Our children bring their own lunches,
and we really try to encourage healthy eating with the hope that what they learn is taking through to home. We are fortunate enough to have access to the Tuakau Community Garden, which is where we will be having a picnic after our sports day on February 17,” said head teacher,
5+ A Day General Manager, Paula Dudley, said the Challenge is a popular and fun way to teach children about the benefits of eating fresh produce.
With 11 percent of New Zealand children obese and 22 percent overweight, the Challenge is one way to encourage children, teachers and parents to eat healthier. “It is a great way to spread the message about making healthy eating choices while having fun. The benefits of introducing
fruit and vegetables to children at a young age have been widely documented and reinforce the important role that fresh produce plays in maintaining a healthy diet,” Paula said. The winner will be announced in April.