Promoting environments that foster healthy eating
One of Community and Public Health’s visions is to improve the health and wellbeing of the people in our region. We do so by providing education and developing policies to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Specific work is focussed on actions and outcomes to create change in food, nutrition and physical activity environments and behaviours, such as increasing access to food (food security).
Community and Public Health staff are working towards promoting a nutrition environment which fosters healthy eating, along with resources that support actions to reduce poor nutrition that may result in chronic disease. The Key Messages for a Healthy lifestyle include:
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods.
- Eat less fatty, salty, and sugary foods.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits.
- Exclusively breastfeed infants for six months, and introduce complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for at least one year and beyond.
- Be active every day for at least 30 minutes in as many ways as possible.
- Add some vigorous exercise for extra benefit and fitness.
- Aim to maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
- Promote and foster the development of environments that support healthy lifestyles.
Discover the 49 items on the NEEDNT list of non-essential, energy dense, nutritionally-deficient food compiled by the University of Otago.
Nourishing Futures with Better Kai
Community and Public Health West Coast developed this resource for parents of toddlers and young children.
This booklet is designed to help parents with all things nutrition for their little one, to set them up for healthy habits throughout their life.
Feeding your family for less or on a budget
Community and Public Health staff are also interested in addressing issues around access and availablilty of affordable food (food security). This involves working with disadvantaged groups such as those on low incomes and those living alone (especially men). If you are finding it hard to make your food budget stretch, then try one of the following menu plans for some new ideas.
Download some easy tasty recipes created by Community and Public Health staff.
Promoting nutrition in a variety of settings
Community and Public Health staff promote nutrition in workplaces, community and education settings. Working in these locations has a direct impact on the health and motivation of those involved, such as individuals, staff, and students.
Current work by Community and Public Health staff includes:
- supporting schools’ edible gardens and orchards;
- helping schools to develop nutrition policies around canteens, lunches and fundraising;
- assisting schools to become Water Only Schools;
- supporting tertiary institutions to develop nutrition policies;
- supporting community groups with nutrition resources; and
- providing expertise to help community organisations and councils develop and apply healthy food and beverage policies.
Helping to create healthier workplaces
Current initiatives are focussed on assisting workplaces in the development of wellness programmes.
There is growing evidence that comprehensive workplace health promotion programs are cost effective and improve employee health. Identified benefits include increased employee satisfaction and retention, and decreased absenteeism and injuries on the job.
Community and Public Health has developed a framework that is flexible and easily adapted to suit the needs of an organisation. The framework consists of a step-by-step process through several different elements to create a tailored health promotion programme. This approach has been shown to increase morale in the workplace as employees work together to meet the challenges of adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Working to improve food resilience in Christchurch and Canterbury
Community and Public Health is part of the Food Resilience Network (FRN) aiming to create and maintain Ōtākaro Orchard – a highly accessible, engaging, and unique orchard and garden in central Christchurch. The space will show sustainable and organic food systems in practice and build on its history as a place to gather mahinga kai. There will also be an information centre and a collaborative café, alongside the Canterbury Horticultural Society.
Advice on weight management for children and teenagers now available
The Ministry of Health have updated The Clinical Guidelines for Weight Management in New Zealand Children and Young People to highlight the importance of quality sleep for weight management and the ongoing need to monitor children’s growth.
The guidance sets an expectation for GPs to regular monitoring height, weight and growth for all children and young people with advice provided to parents if a child or young person is trending towards excess weight rather than waiting until a child is obese before intervening.
Tips for parents are also available on improving sleep, healthy eating and being active for children and teenagers:
For more information, contact:
Ph: +64 3 378 6821
Fax: +64 3 379 6125
Ph: +64 3 307 6902
Fax: +64 3 307 6904
Ph: +64 3 687 2600
Fax: +64 3 688 6091
Ph: +64 3 768 1160
Fax: +64 3 768 1169
Contacts for individual or specialist nutrition support and advice
Registered Dietitians help people to improve their health and lifestyle through optimal nutrition.
Find a dietitian near you (Dietitians New Zealand)
Programmes to boost nutrition knowledge and literacy
Appetite for Life (AFL) is a six-week healthy lifestyle programme. The programme focuses on small changes adding up to large improvements rather than dieting.
Senior Chef is a programme helping those 56 years and older. The programme teaches meal planning, budgeting, and how to cook simple nutritious meals.
Join the Fruit and Vegetable Co-op in greater Christchurch
The Fruit and Vegetable Co-op is now called Foodtogether. It operates as a stand-alone social enterprise in Christchurch and North Canterbury, and is supported by the Healthy Life Trust.
There are also other fruit and vegetable co-operatives in Christchurch such as the: