Clients > Orapa Kindergarten celebrates getting top healthy heart award

Orapa Kindergarten celebrates getting top healthy heart award

Last Updated: March 2018

A Waitara kindergarten is wholeheartedly committed to giving  tamariki the best possible start in life thanks to the Oranga Mokopuna programme that supports early childhood education centres to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of whānau.

It is a collaboration between Tui Ora, Sport Taranaki, the Heart Foundation, Taranaki DHB and is funded by the Ministry of Health.  Read the story. written by Christine Walsh of Taranaki Daily News below. or see the Stuff website.

Orapa Kindergarten is arming their kids with healthy lifestyle habits and was recently given the highest Healthy Heart Award, as kudos from the Heart Foundation for walking their talk.

"We know that healthy, active tamariki are much better placed and ready for learning if they experience an environment that promotes and weaves healthy eating and physical activity throughout our daily curriculum," said kindergarten teacher Amy Sulzberger.

Orapa Kindergarten kids excited to see Hearty award Amy Sulzberger with their health living award.

Orapa currently helps to shape the bodies and minds of about 60 preschoolers who took part in a hearty party to celebrate receiving the Pā-Harakeke (flourishing) Award.

While rain halted the party's outdoor activities, plan B had them indoors racing it out with an egg and spoon, throwing mini bean bags, and active movement activities organised by the Tui Ora team. Hearty, presented Orapa with the award before they all chowed down to a feast of grapes, blueberries, watermelon,oranges, and a three tier cake made entirely from fruit.

Orapa Kindergarten kid, Chloe Lioyd-Forrest,3, chowing down to the healthy celebration feast.

To get the top honours, Orapa made healthy eating and physical activity part of its environment, engaging its children, parents, and the community too. It made the move to providing all the kai for lunches and snacks and offering transport to and from kindergarten each day for tamariki to attend.

"Their dedication to providing healthy kai on a limited budget needs to be commended. The children are building positive attitudes to eating these foods," said Heart Foundation nutrition advisor Kim Pennington.

"The benefits from such a move have been overwhelming. Providing regular healthy kai has contributed to positive behaviour changes and increased tamariki attendance at kindergarten," Pennington said.

Waitara children from Orapa Kindergarten treated to a hearty party.

"Healthy eating and active movement has definitely been woven into everyday practice at Orapa," she said.

Emma Simpson wears three hats as part of the Orapa team. The teacher aide and van driver is also the in-house cook focused on serving up well-balanced nutritional meals that appeal to tiny taste buds - all on a limited budget.

"I've alway been artistic and I like to put a little bit of that creative flair onto everything. Even if it's cutting a piece of watermelon into a heart for a child that's fantastic," Simpson said.

"We have a beef burger and it's full of lentils and beans and the kids absolutely love them."

© Stuff website

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