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Manchester Kindergarten Wins top Heart Foundation Award

Ruahine Kindergartens Association

Manchester Kindergarten Wins top Heart Foundation Award

Manchester Kindergarten in Feilding has won a gold Healthy Heart award from the Heart Foundation in recognition of the efforts made by the teaching team to actively promote healthy lifestyles for the children and their families.

This year, the teachers at Manchester Kindergarten have worked hard to encourage the community to think about healthy eating and physical activity. It started when teachers noticed the large amount of processed foods with high sugar and salt content in the children’s lunchboxes. They felt that perhaps families required more information about healthy eating.

The first step was to make a collage of the empty packages from the children’s lunch boxes acquired over a week. It was displayed close to the eating tables and created a lot of discussion among children and parents alike. The collage made everyone stop to think about the quantity of processed food available to children and opened engagement between the Kindergarten, whanau and children about the healthy choices available. Teachers have since noted a reduction in the amount of processed foods being included in lunch boxes.

The work around healthy eating has branched off into a kindergarten-wide passion for gardening and cooking with fresh produce harvested from the gardens. Children have enjoyed spinach in their noodles, broccoli in muffins, homemade yoghurt, hummus and muesli, cheese sauce with broccoli and cauliflower, vegetable soup and many different varieties of juice! This has provided awesome opportunities for children to think about where their food comes from, and experience how good fresh, healthy food can taste.
This healthy eating initiative was supported further in the community by the recent committee fundraiser ‘Backyard Bounty’ which provided expert advice around sustainable living by eating home grown crops.

It’s not just diet that Manchester Kindergarten has focused on. They have also enhanced children’s physical activity by taking advantage of the Manawatu Sports Library to access new, interesting and challenging equipment on a regular basis.

All at Manchester Kindergarten are justifiably proud of their achievements. To celebrate, they invited Kat Cunrow from the Heart Foundation to present the award, before sharing a morning tea with healthy food provided by families.

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