Kauri Kids Papatoetoe has been recognised for its promotion of heart health and healthy eating as part of the Heart Foundation’s Annual Appeal last month.
On 24 February, the early childhood education and care centre held a Heart Day to help raise funds for the charity’s appeal and raise awareness of New Zealand’s biggest killer, heart disease. The funds raised from the Heart Day will help fund vital research, promote heart-healthy lifestyles and advance cardiac care in New Zealand.
The centre was yesterday awarded with a certificate for being runner-up in the Most Creative Heart Day Learning Experience for their efforts in bringing their staff, children and whānau together to celebrate what it means to look after your heart.
Activities in the lead-up to the red-themed Heart Day included learning about the importance of eating five-plus a day, visiting the community garden to learn about the different fruit and vegetables, and getting the children to create and look after their own vegetable garden at the centre.
Healthy lifestyle an important focus
Head Teacher Kusum Nair says promoting healthy lifestyles is an important focus for Kauri Kids.
“We have been associated with the Heart Foundation for more than three years and we always make an effort to be a part of any events they host. It’s an important focus of our Kauri Kids centres to educate our children and their families about healthy living, as obesity rates and heart diseases are high in New Zealand,” she says.
A holistic approach
Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board chair Lotu Fuli congratulated the centre for taking an holistic approach to healthy eating by including whānau in the activity.
“As a local board it is important that our community live fit, healthy and active lifestyles so that they can thrive – learning the importance of eating healthy is a key part of this. It is great to see the children and their families learning together about the importance of healthy eating and healthy hearts.”
Last year, the local board was among several south Auckland local boards to support the removal of sugar-sweetened beverages from council-operated leisure centres.