Kids say ciao to unhealthy food
A NEW health literacy program by University of Tasmania researchers is encouraging healthy habits in the schoolyard.
HealthLit4Kids is a Tasmanian Community Fund-supported initiative promoting health literacy at New Norfolk’s St Brigid’s Catholic Primary and three other schools state-wide.
The program teaches kids how to make sound health decisions at home, school, and in the community, while empowering students to seek out health information.
St Brigid’s assistant principal Annie Nolan said the program had changed the way students thought about eating habits.
“We felt there was a real need for our kids to be learning about being healthy,” she said.
“The lunch boxes the kids often bring to school are not always particularly healthy, which can impact on their ability to learn. We felt the program was a good fit within our curriculum.”
Lead program researcher Rosie Nash said a better understanding about health literacy could lead to better health later in life.
“Research shows that health literacy is linked to health outcomes, social equity and educational attainment,” Ms Nash said.
“The evidence shows us that if we empower children with the asset of health literacy we can significantly change an individual’s health for their whole life course.”
Grade 4 student Mia Berry said the program taught her about the dangerous sugar levels in some of her favourite foods.
“We need to keep an eye on sugar content, because things like breakfast bars show fruit advertised on the box, but when you look at the packets health advice it contains a lot of sugar,” she said.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: St Brigid's Catholic School students, from left, Baylan Wilton, 9, Brydee Garwood, 12, Kodi Quarrell, 10, J'Khobi Bone, 12, Ayla Ackerley, 9, Mia Berry, 9, Seth Farrow, 11, and Declan Coomber, 11, are learning about healthy eating.