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Mad Hatters and Fruit Welcome at Well Child Week!

Mad Hatters and Fruit Welcome at Well Child Week!

Party games and fresh fruit are in store for children wearing crazy hats at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties this week celebrating Well Child Tamariki Ora Week {Monday 10 May-Friday 14 May}.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties on Tuesday {11 May} and Thursday {13 May} are just two of the local activities planned for Well Child Week which has as its theme improved nutrition and physical activity.

“Starting life with good eating habits helps to provide a foundation for a healthy life,” says Health Promotion Coordinator Nicki Mathieson of Tairawhiti District Health’s Public Health Unit.

“That’s why we are always keen to see early childhood centres and kohanga reo encouraging healthy choices.”

Well Child Tamariki Ora health services in the home or clinic are free for children from birth through to their fifth birthday. In this district the services are provided by the Public Health Unit, Ngati Porou Hauora and Turanganui Primary Health Organisations, and Plunket.

Mrs Mathieson said each baby registered with Well Child has his or her growth and development monitored. The parents and or caregivers are encouraged to keep the baby’s vaccinations up to date and enroll the baby for dental care.

“Parents and caregivers can also get advice on a wide variety of health matters such as nutrition and mental health.”

She said local providers would love to see 100% of children in the district registered with the Well Child programme before the middle of 2005.

The National Children’s Nutrition Survey showed only two out of five children eat the recommended two servings of fruit a day.

“Improving the health of our children and mokopona is one of the most important roles for any parent and community. Ensuring our children are eating foods like fruit and vegetables, and cutting back on sweets and fizzy, is an important first step.”

Mrs Mathieson said family and whanau with children under the age of five are invited to the Mad Hatters’ Tea Parties to be held in the Botanical Gardens. Special guests include Scooter the Push Play Bunny, the 5+ A Day Fruits, a tooth fairy, and Huggie Buggie the Immunisation Bug. Activities include face painting, parachute games and spot prizes.

“Make sure you wear a crazy hat to the Mad Hatters’ Tea Parties,” Mrs Mathieson said.

Other events during Well Child Tamariki Ora Week include:

Wrapper Free Week: encourages parents of children attending early childhood centres and kohanga reo to forgo foods in wrappers when making their children’s lunches during Well Child week. Many of the pre-packaged foods children snack on are high in sugar, fat and salt. Too much of this type of food can lead to obesity and health problems later in life.

Encouraging our children to have fruit and water between meals helps them establish good eating patterns from an early age.

Supermarket Healthy Snack Packs: during Well Child Week Pak ‘N’ Save and Woolworths Supermarkets are offering Healthy Snack Packs assisting parents and caregivers to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Keep an eye out for the Healthy Snack Pack Competition giving shoppers a chance to win $50.00 fruit and vegetables.

Window Display Competition: for local pharmacists and GPs. Entrants are encouraged to create a display offering useful information and tips on the subject of nutrition, physical activity, immunisation, dental health, vision or hearing.

Community Displays: Various local businesses and organisations will be putting displays up in their premises outlining the benefits of Well Child services. Keep an eye out at ANZ Bank, Westpac Bank, McCullochs, Work and Income New Zealand at Kaiti, and Te Hono Whanau in Kaiti.

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