Balanced diet key to learning success

The faces of the tamariki light up as they’re handed a bowl of kai at Te Kura o Kimi Ora.

It’s mince and savoury rice for lunch today – one of the favourite dishes at the Flaxmere kura – and it’s packed full vegetables.

The tamariki receive a healthy morning tea and lunch thanks to the Government’s healthy school lunches programme, supported by Hawke’s Bay DHB, Sport Hawke’s Bay and the Ministry of Education.

Principal Matariki Perepe-Perana said staff had noticed a huge difference in the children’s health since introducing the Ka Ora Ka Ako healthy school lunches programme.

“The tamariki are much more focused in the afternoon with nutritious kai in their tummies.”

Office administrator Tash Walker said: “The kids used to get a lot of boils and skin conditions and their bodies just weren’t healing. Now their bodies are healing much faster.”

Hawke’s Bay DHB Nurse Manager Child Health Team Liz Read said a DHB dietitian works with the 61 schools participating in Ka Ora Ka Ako to ensure schools are providing nutritious meals.

“It’s about being healthy and well in order to be in a good place to learn. It also aims to reduce food insecurity by providing access to a nutritious lunch every day,” Ms Read said.

“We’re also introducing tamariki to new foods such as cherry tomatoes – at first some tamariki were reluctant but after trying them a few times they’ve become a popular snack.”

Hawke’s Bay DHB is part of a new Wellbeing Partnership Group working with Sport Hawke’s Bay and the Ministry of Education to support Ka Ora Ka Ako, as well as other wellbeing initiatives.

Group Co-Chair and Hawke’s Bay Director of Education Daniel Murfitt said the wellbeing partnership was set up to provide schools, early learning services and alternative education providers with improved access to health and wellbeing services.

“The connection between all of the partners has enabled a large number of children to receive new and/or improved programmes and support,” Mr Murfitt said.

The Wellbeing Partnership Group also supports Healthy Active Learning work which is again a joint initiative between Sport NZ and the Ministries of Health and Education.

As part of this initiative, Sport Hawke’s Bay has built a team of Healthy Active Learning Advisors to support quality physical activity in schools.

Sport Hawke’s Bay General Manager Sue Smith said four Advisors had been recruited so far to work with 40 schools and three kura across the region.

“Schools and kura involved in this programme now have access to a skilled workforce who will support them to create active learning and healthy food and drink environments,” Ms Smith said.

Watch the Ka Ora Ka Ako programme operating in Hawke’s Bay schools here: Ka Ora, Ka Ako Health School Lunches Programme on Vimeo

To read what the Wellbeing Partnership Group have bene working on click here:

Photo 1: Jordan (front) and Elijah both 6.
Photo 2: Chef Chavez Farquhar with Jordan, 6.


← Back to the Latest News

Post your comment


No one has commented on this page yet.