Schools, Pre Schools and Early Learning Centres

On Wednesday 24th March Sheridan and Ebony went to Monivae College and completed a healthy eating workshop with the year 8-9 girls. One of the aims of the workshop was to increase awareness around the importance of fueling our bodies adequately, especially when studying and playing sport.   Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet is important at any age, but it’s especially important for teenagers. At this age our bodies are still growing, so it’s essential to get enough energy and other nutrients to do all your daily activities and promote healthy growth. Although this may seem simple, it’s important to recognise that there are barriers that might affect the foods teenagers eat and drink such as what foods and drinks are available at school, the environment (are there bubble taps available?) and pressure from friends and social media to be or look a certain way. Therefore, we completed an activity with the students to determine what they believe they could do to help Monivae College a healthy and supportive environment.   Overall, the workshop went well, the girls were engaged and participating enthusiastically. Next term Sheridan will be heading back and will be working on an action plan with the students to help them make the healthier choice the easier choice.   Could your school group, sporting club or workplace benefit from a GenR8 Change workshop to build shared understanding and appetite for healthy change? If so we'd love to hear from you, contact Sheridan at [email protected] and at session can be tailored and offered in your setting! Alternatively, if your school, club or organisation has already taken action to make the healthier choice the easier one, let us know! Sharing is caring! :)   

On Thursday 25th of March North Hamilton Primary School completed their biennial True North Adventure Challenge. Kids scampered through muddy pits, slid their way through soapy slopes, climbed over and under different obstacles of all shapes and sizes. The students had 30 minutes to complete as many laps of their specially designed obstacle course. The afternoon was designed reinforce to True North values (respect, responsibility, empathy, cooperation and integrity,) get the school community together and most importantly, have FUN!     Who was involved? The course was primarily organised by the North Hamilton primary school staff. The True North Adventure Challenge also received assistance and donations from the local fire brigade, school families and Monivae and Baimbridge College students. The course was made up from donations and included fire hoses squirting water, hay bales, blow up slides, soapy tarps, Gelli Baff, sprinklers and muddy pools. Although, the event was a huge success, COVID-19 restrictions meant parents and other family members weren’t able to participate as they’d normally done in the past. This event was not a fundraiser, however, an obstacle course such as this, is a great idea for a healthy fundraiser.   What is an Active/ Healthy Fundraiser? A active or healthy fundraiser aims to encourage kids to get up and be active or make healthier lifestyle choices, whether that be making healthier eating choices, exercising or taking mindful moments to improve their overall health and well-being. Did you know that kids are recommended to get a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day? Completing an active fundraiser, like the True North Challenge is a great way to raise money, to get kids physically active, be social and teach them healthy and sustainable habits!   If your school is interested in completing a similar event or you would like more information/ support please get in touch with Sheridan at [email protected]

Consuming enough healthy food during the school day, or any day, is SO important for children! A healthy lunchbox will fuel children with enough energy to learn and play to their full potential. It’s not an easy feat to pack a healthful lunchbox every single day that won’t come home again, here are some strategies and resources here to help you increase that likelihood! Nutrition Australia’s Pick & Mix 1-6 poster (downloadable here) provides a range of ideas to create healthy school lunchboxes. The idea is to Pick and mix one option from each of the five core food groups to build a healthy lunchbox every day: Fruit  Vegetables, legumes and beans Milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans Grain (cereal) foods Plain water We love this resource so much that we’ve created a lunchbox planner to match it. Get organised and print the Pick & mix poster, as well as a few copies of the planner and make it a Sunday afternoon activity to sit down with your child and plan their boxes for the week. Kids are much more likely to eat the contents when they’ve had a say what they are! Why not use this to plan the weekly lunches of parents also? Remember, setting positive examples is important. In your planning, consider utilising the great healthy recipes our regions very own Western District Health Service have published in partnership with the Healthy Eating Advisory Service. They are all ‘Green’ according to the governments Healthy Choices Guidelines meaning they are foods you should be eating every day. The way these recipes are written makes it easy to adjust the quantity according to the number of mouths you wish to feed or serves you’d like to prep for the week. There are over 150 FREE ‘Green’ recipes included in the booklet you can download HERE Just a few of the super lunchbox friendly recipes included are; Fruit salad Chicken meatballs Chicken & cherry tomato mini quiches Zucchini & carrot/corn fritters Falafel Banana & blueberry muffins Sweet potato chocolate muffins Check them out! We’d love to see your family using this planner! Snap a pic of your planner filled out and ready to go and be sure to tag @genr8change on Facebook and/or Instagram. Happy lunching!   If you have any issues accessing or printing the above graphics, reach out at [email protected] or direct message the GenR8 Change Facebook Page. 

In an end of term celebration like no other, George Street Primary School students cooked up a healthy hamburger for lunch with their teachers and peers - virtually! Students would normally engage in some fun and hands on activities to mark the end of a successful term, so at the end of Term 3 2020 (a term like no other with remote learning a key feature for majority of students) the school community did just that, but virtually.  George Street staff compiled take home cooking packs for families to collect from school, along with a list of all the equipment needed to cook the healthy hamburger at home. The cost of ingredients were fully covered by the school. Families then linked in via Microsoft Teams/Webex to participate in the cooking class, and even eat the finished product together! What a fantastic way to finish a challenging school term. Congratulations George Street for thinking outside the box :)               How has your school, workplace, sporting club or community group adapted during COVID19 to ensure you're still encouraging healthy eating and activity? Let us know about it! Contact [email protected] , we'd love you hear your story.

Encouraging physical activity in children right now is hard. Demands of remote learning, the halt of any formal sport and recreation activities and even the weather are all commonly heard barriers to keeping kids active. At Good Shepherd Primary, they’re leaning on a shared goal and teamwork to say motivated, by ‘running around Australia’! The Run Around Australia challenge started during remote learning 1.0 with the aim to keep kids moving. The school asks each child to record how far they run or walk each week. Each week the school updates the map and reports back to the school community through the newsletter. There is also a map updated weekly at school as some students are still in attendance. A little snippet of information is also shared weekly about whatever town the cohort have reached that week. Up to the start of September, Good Shepherd have ran/walked 4279km! They are currently at Meadow in Western Australia. Whilst this is a super achievement to date, the school still have around 11500kms remaining to return to Hamilton. Could you help the students achieve their goal? Good Shepherd are welcoming any local runners or walkers to contribute some of their weekly km’s to help the kids move along their journey. Call or email through your weekly tally each Friday to Caryn at the Good Shepherd Junior Campus via phone: 5571 2236 or email [email protected] Good Shepherd teacher Ali Wedding says although it’s a big ask to make it around the whole of Australia by the end of the school year, the kids are enjoying keeping track and learning about different Australian towns along the way, “Hopefully the information about each of the places we end up helps families to realise what an amazing country we have and inspire them to travel once we're allowed”, she says.                                                                 

Last week, the Winda-Mara Hamilton Koori play group did a healthy cooking session! A favourite was on the menu - pizza. The team used a simple two ingredient healthy recipe for the base of self raising flour and greek yoghurt and topped the pizzas with a variety of fresh ingredients. Koori Maternity Services Health Worker Maddy Kinghorn says the idea was to learn ways to make our favourite foods healthier, 'we showed the mums how to incorporate extra veggies into a food that is more commonly a treat'. The pizzas were a big hit!           Congratulations team.The Hamilton Koori playgroup runs on a Friday from 10am-12pm and welcome new members with open arms.Registrations can be made by contacting Macahlia at Windamara on 55270000.   What is your school, community group, sporting club or workplace doing to promote healthy choices? Let us know about it! Contact Ebony at [email protected] to share your story or access support for implementing healthy change. 

The veggie challenge is ON at Good Shepherd College!   Year 7 students at Good Shepherd College are busy nurturing their patches this term as they vie for the title of champion of the second Veggie Patch Challenge.   The Veggie Patch challenge idea came about late in 2019, with last year’s year 7 cohort participating in the first ever challenge running throughout term 4. Students form groups and are delegated space in a garden bed to plant and care for their crops throughout the term before the best vegetables are judged and sold at a mini Vegetable Show and market stall at the end of term. There are two year 7 classes at Good Shepherd, so one class does the Challenge in term 1 and the other does it in term 4. Co-ordinator Emma Weatherly says the students both last term and this term have been very engaged in the challenge, ‘students are very engaged in the competition’, she says, ‘They love the outdoor action learning, and good prizes from generous local businesses such as the Ladybug Nursery have been a great incentive.”. It’s not only students that are keen on seeing their seedlings grow to the greatest of heights, families are also on board with the challenge, ‘We have had parents delivering bags of sheep poo to school and students bringing in extra seeds from home to try and give their vegie patch an edge over other teams’, Emma said.                   Good Shepherd have added the vegetable show and market stall to the end of the challenge period this year to celebrate the student’s efforts and crown challenge winners. The team at Good Shepherd warmly welcomes any donations of prizes for the challenge from local businesses keen to support the students in building their knowledge and teamwork skills. If you can help, get in touch with Emma at [email protected] or contact the school on 5571 2595

SGSC Family Day care provides childcare like no other, eight unique home environments offer lots of benefits in their own ways, and lots revolve around healthy eating and physical activity at Debbie White’s home care! Debbie has been providing care for several years, and has always had a strong emphasis on ensuring children spend more time outdoors than they do inside, and get plenty exposure to nature. Over the past little while, Debbie has been hard at work implementing more strategies to improve the health and wellbeing of the children in her care, and the list is extensive – well done Debbie! Debbie leads children on a ‘garden walk’ every morning, rain hail or shine – because “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”. Debbie’s care environment has plenty of green and bush space, and the children love going on their morning walk exploring for around an hour to get their day started. They stop off and feed the chooks and collect the eggs, that they sometimes use in the kitchen later in the day Debbie nurtures a vegetable garden with the children, involving them in planting, watering and harvesting produce. At the moment the children are loving watching their beans, silverbeet, carrots and tomatoes flourish! Occasionally, Debbie cooks with the children, often whipping up things like pancakes topped with fruit, using the eggs children collect from the resident chooks each morning Debbie continues to build on her outdoor environment to make it conducive to lots of outdoor active play. Debbie regularly sets up obstacle courses throughout the yard that the kids adore, and has designed a permanent ‘bike track’ underneath her car port, where she has road signs and rules to teach the children road safety.                    Debbie says the response from children and parents alike towards her approach has been extremely positive, all her strategies are embedded in daily practice now so it’s ‘just the way we do things’. Debbie is turning to focus more on the nutrition side next, looking to trial a change in the way the children do ‘fruit time’, encouraging shared consumption of cut fruit rather than each child being confined to consuming the one piece of fruit they each bring from home. Debbie’s enthusiasm is backed by a healthy eating/nutrition policy in place with the SGSC Family Day Care unit that is currently being reviewed and expanded. Big congratulations to Debbie for all she is doing to make healthy choices easy, and to the SGSC team for supporting her to do so! To find out more about Family Day Care services offered by Southern Grampians Shire Council, contact Kim Ayling on 55518484, or email [email protected]  

Last week, local primary school students, staff, parents and interested community members came together at the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre to learn and share stories/experiences from VicHealth 's Walk to School month. The aim was to learn from what we've done, seen and heard throughout the month and build ideas to make Walk to School month every month! The group came up with some great ideas to keep the momentum going, including;- Continuing to use drop off points- Keep doing group walks- Build better bike and scooter (road) safety skills- Implement a junior-senior school walking buddy system- Develop posters and visual prompts for use year around- Improve infrastructure; build better paths and safer road crossings Big thanks to George Street Primary School, Hamilton, Tarrington Lutheran School, Hamilton Gray St Primary School and Hamilton North Primary School for attending and sharing your stories. Thanks also to Cafe Gray for our fresh morning tea. Just because the official Walk to School month draws to a close today, there's no stopping now! Contact Ebony on 5551 8475 to find out more or to get involved.