By Bonny Burrows
Healthy doesn’t have to be boring.
That’s the message Ryan Road Childcare and Swim School is sharing with its families.
As part of the Victorian Prevention and Health Promotion Achievement Program, the Pakenham centre is working its way through a set of guidelines aimed at preventing chronic disease through the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
There are six health priority areas that a service can focus on – sun protection, tobacco control, healthy eating and oral health, physical activity, safe environments and mental health and well-being.
The centre received its first star on 5 October for achieving advanced standing for sun protection as it is a Sunsmart service and is now working its way through the healthy eating and oral health area.
Monash Health health promotion practitioners came out to the facility to present a sign signalling the centre’s participation and its first star.
Staff and students celebrated the milestone with a melon cake, before getting straight into the healthy eating framework by creating colourful fruit skewers and delicious smoothies.
Centre director Jane Rowland said staff and students were enjoying working their way through the program.
“It’s actually a really exciting journey and a lot of fun,” Ms Rowland said.
Monash Health health promotion practitioner Cassandra Crothers-Swensson said the program was about creating lifelong habits.
“We want the habits to start in the centre, but go home with the kids,” she said.
“it’s not about a quick fix.”
More information on the program can be found at: http://www.achievementprogram.health.vic.gov.au/.