Overall, schools and services were doing a good job of promoting healthy attitudes to F, N and PA. Values, policy and practice aligned to make sure children and young people had access to good information, as well as opportunities to make choices about their own wellbeing.
This good practice was particularly evident in early learning services. Children were gaining a solid foundation in how to make positive choices for their health and wellbeing.
While schools and services were doing a good job of equipping young people with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to make healthy choices around F, N and PA, young people were not always able to make these healthy choices. Environmental and financial constraints limited their ability to participate in physical activity. They were restricted in their ability to make healthy nutritional choices by the food that was available to them, either as a result of what was affordable, or what their parents chose to provide.
Leaders and teachers faced a range of challenges in their provision for children and young people. Financial, environmental and resourcing constraints limited children’s access to nutritious food and opportunities for physical activity. Some leaders found ways to address these constraints, and others struggled to address them.
Schools and early learning services can teach children and young people to value healthy food, nutrition and physical activity. To effectively change behaviour, parents, whānau, local government and the wider community needs to support children and young people with opportunities to enact these values.
Schools and services know that young people have developed positive attitudes to food, nutrition and physical activity when they share messages such as:
Not too much screen time – get out and get active.
Eat healthy and stay active. If you eat [fast food] each day, you can't even get out of bed. If you are a couch potato, your skin will get stuck to the couch!
Have a good balance, be wise, and never go overboard.
Stay healthy and fit so that our bodies when older, don't get bad conditions... don't get fat.
Be physical on an everyday basis – keep your body moving
We have to be careful because we [Māori] are the ones that get fat and die young.
Encourage others to eat healthily.
Need to have physical activity consistently to benefit from it.
Be aware of how much you are eating and the amount of activity you are doing.
You need to put the effort in to get something out – keep trying to get fitter.