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Tarrington Lutheran School Parents and Friends (P & F) group have this term began a fundraiser of a different kind, warming the tummies of students with a healthy hearty meal in the process.   The school P&F spoke at the end of term 1 about providing soup lunches for students during the winter months after a passionate parent initially shared the idea. This term, the group have begun making a batch of healthy soup available for free to students every Thursday, all students need to do is BYO soup mug/cup! To build in a fundraising component, toasties are also made available with the soups for a cost of $2. So far the committee have done a fantastic job making a number of different types of soups for children to try, including pumpkin and chicken and vegetable.                             The student response to the initiative has been great, with Thursday lunchtimes quickly becoming a weekly favourite. The P & F plan to continue the initiative into term 3 with possibly different options in term 4.    Could your school, workplace or community group follow Tarrington Lutheran School’s lead and facilitate a shared healthy meal, whist fundraising in the process? To share your story or idea, or access support, contact Ebony Jenkins at ebony.jenkins@wdhs.net

It’s not always about doing more or coming up with new ideas to promote healthy choices, sometimes the power is in sharing the great strategies we’re already implementing! Southern Stay Disability Services have been working to make several changes to make the healthier choice the easier choice within their respite and residential environments. With the organisation operating across a number of different locations, and each location boasting several staff that are working varied shifts, there is not always a chance to touch base as a team, let alone to talk healthy eating! To overcome this, the Southern Stay Hamilton leadership team have started a trend and introduced a permanent agenda item to their regular meetings ‘Healthy Wins’. This allocated time allows house supervisors the opportunity to share their strategies and learnings in promoting healthy choices with participants.                                                                                                             Following the leadership teams lead, the respite crew and a number of residential teams have also adopted the re-occurring agenda item into their staff meetings, allowing for lots more sharing and reflecting in this area! On top of the great actions Southern Stay are introducing with their participants to make the healthier choice the easier one, we think this simple action of allocating time to reflect and plan around health promotion is in itself worth celebrating! Could your organisation also benefit from putting time aside regularly time to touch base on all things health and wellbeing?

Fourteen Southern Stay participants recently completed a 10 week cooking program at the Hamilton District Skills Centre under the guidance of Tony MacGillivray and Lisa Lowin, building their skills in food preparation and healthy choices.   Each week for 10 weeks, the group followed easy-read healthy recipes that utilised a range of fresh foods including; stir frys, chicken and vegetable kebabs and fish dishes to name a few. The cooks were encouraged to take their recipes home and replicate dishes with families, and they did! The chicken club sandwich has been just one of the recipes reported to have been repeated in the home.                        As well as doing the cooking, participants took trips to the supermarket to read product labels and select healthy choices, and an excursion to the local Kiss and Run egg part to learn where eggs come from before gathering their own and turning them into a frittata. To celebrate the conclusion of the program, participants cooked a showcase of recipes from throughout the 10 weeks for their families and friends, and were awarded an introduction to cooking certificate. A recipe book is now being prepared for each participant of recipes used throughout the program that will also be made available to other Southern Stay clients for a small printing fee. Participants are now armed with food safety and food preparation skills they wouldn’t have obtained otherwise! Congratulations to all involved, and to Southern Stay and HDSC for the thriving partnership that has made this program possible. A second program is planned to commence in July. For any more details, or to enquire about the next program, please Contact Lynne Millard, Operations Manager Southern Stay on 5572 1028.    How has your community group, workplace, school or sporting club been encouraging healthy choices recently? Let us know! Share your story with the GenR8 CHange support team through facebook, email ebony.jenkins@wdhs.net , or phone 5551 8475.