Many children in western Sydney spend a substantial amount of time at before and after school care where they eat, play and socialise with other children in a fun, play based environment. Educators at OOSH have a wonderful opportunity to promote healthy habits to the children that attend OOSH through a range of learning experiences and activities.
NSW Health now partner with OOSH services to assist in fostering healthy eating habits and meet physical activity recommendations, based on the latest edition of the ‘Eat Smart, Play Smart’ manual released by the Heart Foundation.Our program will focus support on improving four important health related areas in OOSH.
- OOSH: The Healthier Way program
OOSH: The Healthier way is a free healthy lifestyle program for OOSH services in Western Sydney. The program supports OOSH services with staff professional development opportunities, menu planning, physical activity programming and health policies.
How the Program Supports My Time, Our Place Framework
Professional Development training for OOSH Directors and educators is based on the new ‘Eat Smart, Play Smart’ manual which has been designed with links to Outcomes 2 and 3 of My Time, Our Place Framework:
OOSH Directors and educators have a great opportunity to positively shape children’s attitude toward healthy behaviours. Healthy eating and physical activity can be promoted every day in OOSH services and can be incorporated into the principals and practices of My Time, Our Place learning outcomes. For example:
|Partnering with families: Families can be involved in contributing and reviewing menu planning and policy development. Up to date information on nutrition, physical activity and screen time can be provided to families.
|Respect for diversity: Learning about different cultures and international celebration days is important for children. Including foods and games from different countries adds to the learning experience.
|Collaborating with children: Children love to be included in planning activities, and can be extremely creative! Programming physical activities and cooking experiences can be based on children’s current interest levels.
|Learning environments: The environment can be intentionally modified to encourage children to be physically active and further develop their fine and gross motor skills. Indoor and outdoor spaces can be used to grow flowers, herbs and food, which is useful in learning about sustainability and provides resources for healthy eating experiences.
|Assessment for learning: The professional development training and the Eat Smart, Play Smart manual allow for reflection of current healthy behaviours in OOSH and have practical ideas and templates to brainstorm new teaching methods in regard to healthy eating and physical activity.
How the Program Supports the National Quality Standards
The ‘Eat Smart, Play Smart’ manual and professional development training is designed to support OOSH services meet the Quality Areas and elements of the National Quality Standards based on healthy eating and physical activity. Sample policies and templates, hygiene checklists, recipe ideas and menu assistance, physical activity and gross motor skill ideas, and tips to successfully communicate with families will be provided to OOSH services to assist in meeting the below Quality Areas:
Quality Area 2 - Children’s Health and Safety
Standard 2.1 Health - Each child’s health is promoted;
|Healthy Lifestyle - Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.
Quality Area 3 - Physical Environment
Standard 3.2 Use - The service environment is inclusive, promotes competence and supports exploration and play-based learning.
||Inclusive Environment - Outdoor and indoor spaces are organised and adapted to support every child's participation and to engage every child in quality experiences in both built and natural environments.
||Environmentally Responsible - The service cares for the environment and supports children to become environmentally responsible.
- OOSH Resources
Find the current national guidelines for healthy eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children, adults and during pregnancy as well as healthy lifestyle factsheets which can be shared with families and other healthy eating and physical activity resources for OOSH.
- NSW Health website
For more information on guidelines for physical activity and nutrition in OOSH centres, visit the NSW Health website.