Munch and Move
Our Service is awarded Munch and Move implementation awards each year in September for our exemplary efforts in embedding munch and move practices into everyday practice. We continually strive to improve our nutritional and physical education programs and work closely with the Munch and Move coordinators to ensure our centre is meeting 100% of the Munch and Move principles.
So what is munch and move?
Munch & Move is a NSW Health initiative that supports the healthy development of children birth to 5 years by promoting physical activity, healthy eating and reduced small screen time (e.g. watching TV or DVDs, playing on computers and small hand-held games devices).
Munch & Move aims to promote and encourage positive healthy eating and physical activity habits in young children aged birth to 5 years in ECEC services.
Munch & Move is based on six health promoting key messages:
- Encourage and support breastfeeding - Our service openly welcomes breastfeeding families and encourages this by having support plans as well as a beautifully designed breastfeeding space that is calming and relaxing. We also have signage around the service that is supportive and encouraging parents to continue their breastfeeding journey. https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/mum2mum
- Eat more fruit and vegetables - Our service provides fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the day at all meal times. We also have a fruit basket alongside our community pantry for those families in a hurry in the mornings and evenings. Families are encouraged to take a piece of fruit to snack on to help embed healthy eating habits for them daily. https://fruitsandveggies.org/stories/top-10-reasons-to-eat more/#:~:text=Eating%20plenty%20of%20fruits%20and,you%20feel%20healthy%20and%20energized.
- Get active each day - Our service provides lots of opportunities for the children to get active each day. Our classroom environments are designed in way to encourage children to stand whilst working. Our large backyard space is equipped with climbing wall, cargo netting, multiple levels, large stepping stones, slide and a therapy swing- all of these elements encourage children and educators alike to get up and get more active. We run extracurricular experiences such GrowFit to compliment our everyday program. https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/heart-health-education/physical-activity-getting-started
- Choose water as a drink - Our service has hydration stations in each room. These are small trolleys where educators and children can keep their drink bottles that are filled with water. Children are encouraged to have hydration breaks throughout the day. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water#1.-Helps-maximize-physical-performance
- Turn off the screen and get active - Although we have access to screens through computers and IPAD's in our classrooms, these are utilised specifically for the purpose of extending learning as part of the school readiness program and the project approach to learning. Technology is used as a complimentary component to learning - not a main focus in the program. https://www.schn.health.nsw.gov.au/fact-sheets/screen-time-and-children
- Choose healthier snacks - Our service provides ideas to parents who choose to provide food from home for their children about snacks that are healthy. We practice this skill as children reach the end of their preschool journey when we host lunch box month in November each year. https://healthylunchbox.com.au/healthy-lunch-box-examples/
The Munch & Move program has strong alignment to the National Quality Framework (NQF) with links to all 7 Quality Areas of the National Quality Standard (NQS), the 5 Outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Get Up & Grow healthy eating guidelines and physical activity recommendations.
Munch & Move offers early childhood educators a great opportunity to encourage children’s healthy eating and physical activity using a range of fun play-based learning experiences.
The Healthy Kids website is the main platform for Munch & Move information and resources. The website pages can be accessed through: www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/campaigns-programs/about-munch-move.aspx