Childhood Nutrition and Wellbeing
Children should be able to grow up in an environment which enables them to be healthy. In the last 30 years, our food environment has changed. There are a lot more processed and packaged foods now which are high in sugar, fat, and salt and which are very tasty, relatively cheap and often aggressively marketed. This means that it can be easy to consume more sugar and fat than we need, and children are now much more at risk of being malnourished, overweight or obese. Sugary drinks in particular can increase these risks.
Changing our food environment and changing the types of food and drinks we consume are key to improving health, especially for children. This means that healthy foods and drinks need to be the convenient, easy and affordable choice.
Everyone has a role to play in helping to create a healthy food environment in the places we live, learn, work and play. Achieving this will take the collective effort of consumers, schools, pre-schools, businesses, councils, the food industry, food producers, food retailers, government, supermarkets, sports organisations, media and so on.
5210 - The healthy way to go
5210 is a set of tools and resources available across the Bay of Plenty and Lakes which encourage children and their families and whānau to eat vegetables and fruit, limit screen time, be active, and drink water or milk instead of sugary drinks. These resources can be used by anyone so that families are supported with living these messages wherever they go, while the tools can also be used by health practitioners to initiate healthy conversations and set goals with families and whānau.
5210 encourages children and their families and whānau to make healthy choices every day that everyone benefits from. This includes eating vegetables and fruit, limiting screen time, being active, and drinking water or milk instead of sugary drinks.
Go 5210 everyday
Five or more vegetables and fruit
- Choose a variety of different coloured vegetables and fruit.
Vegetables and fruits that are in season are less expensive. Try farmers’ markets, community gardens, or grow a few of your own.
Frozen and canned vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh vegetables.
Avoid dried fruits and canned fruits in syrups that have a lot of sugar.
Less than two hours screen time
Less than one hour of screen time a day if under five years old, and none if under two years old.
Keep bedrooms free of screens and devices, such as computers, phones, TVs, gaming consoles, and tablets.
Turn off screens during meal times and enjoy eating together as a family.
Turn off screens and devices at least an hour before bedtime.
Be active for one hour or more
Swap screens for active games and play.
Walk, bike, scooter or skate board to get to places.
Be active in everyday life through play, cultural activities, kapa haka, dance, sport, and household tasks.
Get outdoors, learn new skills, and visit friends.
Zero sugary drinks - choose water or plain milk
Sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.
Drinks that often have a lot of sugar are flavoured milks, fruit juices, fruit drinks, fizzy drinks, sports and energy drinks, sachet drinks, cordials, and iced teas and coffees.
Buy fewer and fewer sugary drinks each week until you no longer buy any.
Make your home and school sugary drink free.
What we do at Toi Te Ora Public Health
Toi Te Ora Public Health has developed a briefing paper which describes our role in helping to ensure that every child in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes districts grows up in a food environment which enables them to be a healthy weight throughout their lives.
A technical report is also available which provides an analysis of body size of four-year-olds in the population of the Bay Plenty and Lakes District Health Board areas using data from the B4 School Check programme.
In addition, Toi Te Ora Public Health's Drinks in Schools report is available to view, which gathers a snapshot of the availability of sugary drinks in schools and kura in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Board areas.
In the media
Childhood nutrition and wellbeing is a topical issue in our community. Here is a selection of local stories sharing what is happening in our community to encourage healthy lifestyles for children:
- 'Trailblazing': Rotorua's Tonuhopu Marae bans fizzy drinks, plastic bottles - Rotorua Daily Post (Sep 2019)
- Tauranga principals back bigger bite of Fruit in Schools initiative - Bay of Plenty Times (Aug 2019)
- Rotorua principals back calls for expansion of Fruit in Schools initiative - Rotorua Daily Post (Aug 2019)
- Countdown confirms plans to age restrict energy drink sales - Newshub (Jul 2019)
- Kids' call to Jacinda Ardern: Ban junk food ads - New Zealand Herald (Mar 2019)
- Kiwi dentists take stand on teaspoon sugary drink labels - Stuff.co.nz (Jan 2019)
- 5210 - the healthy way to go - Bay Online (Oct 2018)
- Good sleep protects children from obesity, study finds - Stuff.co.nz (Sep 2018)
- Rotorua childcare centre adopts vegan menu, goes waste free - Stuff.co.nz (May 2018)
- Nearly 10 per cent of 4-year-olds overweight - Bay of Plenty Times (Aug 2017)
- Bay schools cut out fizz - SunLive (Jun 2017)
- More Bay schools choosing water only policies - Bay of Plenty Times and Rotorua Daily Post (Jun 2017)
- Call for ban of sugary drinks at school - Bay of Plenty Times (Jun 2017)
- Free produce for Kawerau locals - Rotorua Daily Post (Feb 2017)
- Surprising foods that exceed the recommended daily sugar intake - Stuff.co.nz (Oct 2016)
- Study finds obese Kiwi kids at risk of diabetes, heart disease - New Zealand Herald (Sep 2016)
- Childhood obesity an 'epidemic' - Rotorua Daily Post (Aug 2016)
- The Big Read: Tackling the Bay's growing child obesity problem - Bay of Plenty Times (Aug 2016)
- Childhood obesity 'out of control' - Bay of Plenty Times (Aug 2016)
- Call for controls on marketing for sugary drinks featuring children's sporting heroes - Stuff.co.nz (Jun 2016)
- Childhood obesity a topical issue - SunLive (Mar 2016)
- Tauranga pupils back call for sugar tax on fizzies - Bay of Plenty Times (Mar 2016)
- School aims to be 'water only' - Rotorua Daily Post (March 2016)
- Call for schools to ditch sugary drinks - New Zealand Herald (Mar 2016)
- Fizz-free, water-only schools could be 'tipping point' in fight against obesity - Stuff.co.nz (March 2016)
- Food skills lost to life in the fast lane - Bay of Plenty Times (Aug 2015)
- One in four Bay kids overweight - Bay of Plenty Times (Jun 2015)
- Embracing local kai - Rotorua Daily Post (Mar 2015)
- Driving demand for healthy food - Sunlive (Mar 2015)
- Shaping the future of our food - Toi Te Ora Public Health (Mar 2015)
Medical Officer of Health reports
- Childhood obesity prevention: Creating change to ‘shift the curve’
- Leading the Charge on Preventing Childhood Obesity
- Childhood Obesity Prevention – What will it take to change our food environments and where do we start?
- Sugary Drinks, Health and Individual Responsibility
NZ – WHO BMI Growth Charts
- Self-plotting growth charts for boys and girls 2-19 years (excel spreadsheet)
- Boys growth chart 2-19 years (printable PDF)
- Girls growth chart 2-19 years (printable PDF)
- BMI Centile Calculator