Health Matters WBOP July 2016

Raising healthy kids Like most kids, Patrick Edmonds is starving when he gets home from school. Chippies and biscuits used to be what he’d load up on. But that’s all changed since he’s been on Sport BOP’s Active Families programme. Although Patrick had been playing sport, he seemed to be losing motivation and was struggling to keep up. Worried about where his health might be heading, his mum Kelly turned to her GP for support. “I needed help, nothing was working, we were having food battles, it was pretty stressful. Like a lot of kids he was pretty obsessed with junk food,” says Kelly Cousins. Patrick was enrolled in the BOPDHB funded Active Families programme which supports families to make healthier lifestyle choices, through increasing their levels of physical activity and changing their eating habits. Gone are the after school biscuits and chippies. These days Patrick snacks on a healthy alternative like popcorn. “Like most kiwi boys, Patrick loves his food. The programme has shown us healthy alternatives. We still have treats, but we’ve cut back to once a week rather than every time we go to the supermarket.” And he’d know. The chef has taught around 700 Bay of Plenty kids to cook healthy low cost meals during his time working as an Oral Health Promoter at the Bay of Plenty DHB. “Making healthy food choices and having healthy gums and teeth go hand in hand. It makes sense to teach these children and teenagers about cooking healthy meals as well as how to look after their teeth.” At Tauranga’s Merivale Community Centre, Stephen’s been running a six week learn to cook class for about twelve young people aged from eight to fourteen who are there for the after school programme. Centre Manager Tauha Te Kani says Stephen’s clearly passionate about teaching them how to cook. “It’s a real team effort. Stephen shows them how to cook and then stands back and lets them have a go. They’ve got to know him, he’s built a rapport with them and they love his cooking classes.” Afterwards the group sits down to enjoy the meal together. “We know these young people are getting a healthy meal. And that’s when the meal conversation turns to teeth. We talk about looking after your teeth; which foods cause tooth decay, the importance of brushing and having regular check-ups. Kelly says while she makes a conscious effort to find ways to work activity into Patrick’s routine like biking, doing Friday night walks up the Mount, she’s noticed a change in Patrick as well. Patrick who’s been on the programme since November, sees Lena Kairau, Western Bay of Plenty Active Families Advisor once a month. He’s also participated in group activities like treasure hunts around the Mount. It’s through these group sessions with other children that Patrick has discovered a new passion for multisport events. “With the group Patrick did the Kids cooking healthy food Stephen Cameron reckons he’s never come across a child who doesn’t like learning to cook. Weetbix triathlon in Rotorua. It was totally new for him and he loved it. He’s gone on to do one at the Mount and other duathlons.” “Whenever the conversation at Merivale turns to oral health, the kids tell us all about the good food they can eat and the bad food they should stay away from,” says Tauha. Stephen says his focus is on making low cost healthy meals. Meals that they can then cook at home for their families. Tauha says judging from comments from some of the caregivers he’s spoken to; the cooking classes are having an impact. “I’ve had mums and nans tell me their boys are now keen to cook a meal for the whānau; they’re over the moon.” The healthy cooking coupled with dental health education programme is being taken into other parts of the Bay of Plenty as well. Stephen recently held workshops with Youth Guarantee Education groups in Kawerau and with the Salvation Army group in Tauranga. He’s also working with Mama-Pepi groups in Te Puna, Matapihi, Opotiki and Kawerau; teaching young mums how to cook for their whānau. “Showing these mums how to cook healthy low cost meals, encourages healthy eating for them and their family. If we can prevent children suffering from health related conditions such as tooth decay, and obesity by teaching how to cook healthy meals then that’s a good thing.” “After school he now often takes himself off to do something outside rather than sitting in front of the screen. “He’s shaping up to really enjoy being active. He’s keen to give new things a go. He’s got more confidence. I think he just feels good about himself.” Patrick Edmonds loves riding his drift bike. The Ministry of Health has introduced a new health target for all District Health Boards. By December 2017, 95% of obese children identified in the Before School Check (B4 School Check) programme will be offered a referral to a health professional for clinical assessment and family based nutrition, activity and lifestyle interventions. Water only schools There are calls for more Bay of Plenty schools to go water only to improve the health and teeth of their students. As part of a nationwide campaign to reduce childhood obesity and reduce the number of children with tooth decay, the Ministries of Health and Education along with other agencies are urging schools to provide a sugary drink free environment. Toi Te Ora – Public Health Service Medical Officer of Health, Dr Neil de Wet, says,”We all recognise that lollies and chocolate have lots of sugar but it’s not that obvious that a 600ml bottle of fizzy drink may contain as much as 16 teaspoons of sugar. “Having one or two sugary drinks a day may increase a child’s risk of being overweight by 50% and increase th ɥͬ)ٕȁѕ)䁅ЀԔt()ЁM]݅ѕȁ́ѡ)ɥ+qɥ̰ͅ䁅͕ɥ)ɔЁݕ]ѕȁɽ٥ٕ́ѡ)хɥѼɕɔѡȁ́)ȁɹt́ͅAɥɕ܁5)QAխéɡٕḾхѕ)ѽ݅ɑ́݅ѕȁ͍х)݅ѕȁ́ɽ+q ɕ͡ձ)Ѽɽ܁)٥ɽЁݡ)ѡѼѡ+qḾɄ)ՕЁ)ݡЁ͍́)ɕ͕̰Ёͼݡ)́́ѡ)ݥȁչ丁Q)ѡ͵ѕѼɕٔ)՝䁑ɥ͍́)ɕєt)́ͅȁ]и)Q]ɱ!Ѡ)=ɝͅѥե)ɕѡЁ)͡ձٔɔ)ѡЁѡɕȁ)ѕ́՝ȁȁ()ɕЁٕ䁽ѡ)م䁽՝䁑ɥ)͍́Ʉѡ) 䁽A䁅1)ɥЁ!Ѡ ɐɕ)ḾɄɔɅѼ)%Ё́ѡЁ͍)݅ѕȁ䁉ѡѡ啅ȸ)͡ݕ͍ؔ́)ݥ)ɕ՝)Ё͕՝䁑ɥ́)ɥ́ѡѡ(ܔՑ́Ёɍ͔՝䁑ɥ)啅ȁɔѥٔɽѥ݅ѕȁ)Ё͍)́ѡɕɕɥ́ȁɕ+qQɔɔյȁ͍́ѡ 䁽)ȁɵѥ՝䁑ɥɕ٥ɽ)AѡЁɔݕٔɕ)٥ͥЁܹѽ̹й՝}ɥ)ɕٕ՝䁑ɥ̳t́ͅȁ]и((