Healthy eating program Munch and Move turns 10

by Freya Lucas

October 11

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the healthy eating and physical activity program “Munch and Move” which has reached more than two million children across New South Wales. More than 3,000 centres – or close to 90 per cent of all centre-based early childhood education settings – have adopted the program.

 

“Around 1 in 5 children are overweight or obese and without intervention and education, they will carry this weight into adulthood with serious health consequences,” NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

 

Munch and Move is a fun, play-based program that aims to establish healthy eating habits early in life, and to prevent children from growing up to develop chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

 

The NSW Government in 2018/19 has directed $38 million in funding to tackle obesity, including $25 million for childhood obesity and more than $3 million on the Munch and Move program.

 

The Munch and Move program works with children under five years of age, who attend early childhood education and care services in NSW, by promoting six key health messages:

 

  • Encourage and support breastfeeding
  • Choose water as a drink
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Choose healthier snacks
  • Get active each day
  • Turn off the screen and get active.

 

“Munch and Move is providing families with healthy eating ideas and helping children instill daily habits of physical activity. The program is also addressing bad habits like regularly drinking soft drinks and eating too many unhealthy snacks.” Dr Chant said.

 

In July 2016, Munch and Move was extended to family day care centres across the state as part of the NSW Government’s priority to reduce childhood overweight and obesity by five per cent over 10 years.

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