Startwell is an obesity prevention programme targeting Early Years settings across Birmingham. The programme is based around 7 key messages. It supports settings to improve healthy eating and physical development through creating a healthier environment for children and families, whilst also enabling them to achieve the Startwell award. Food Net is working on the nutrition element of Startwell, and works in partnership with Birmingham City Council who provides the physical development element.
Here at Cheeky Monkeys we incorporate Startwell into our everyday routine. We use the 7 key messages as a guide to help us to be a healthy setting.
All the staff at Cheeky Monkeys follow “Suzy Startwell” and act as role models for the children. It is important for a child to see an adult doing something as then the child will be more motivated to do the same. We sit down and eat healthy meals with the children and encourage them to eat their vegetables, so that they get their 5 a day like ‘Fay 5 A Day.’
We provide two healthy snacks in the morning and afternoon with milk or water and encourage the children to eat their snack like “2 snacks max.” It is nice to give the children two different healthy snack options, as it provides them with choice.
At lunch times we provide nutritious “Micky me size” portions as children have smaller stomachs therefore it is important to give them smaller portions or portions that are appropriate to them individually. We also join in fun active activities to encourage the children to get active.
Every morning the children and staff do “Wake up Shake up” to get active like “Active Azra” and “Fun Time Freddy.” Physical activity has positive effects on a child’s physical and mental health, it promotes bone health and motor skills, social, cognitive and emotional development. The children absolutely love jumping around, running around and being active.
We regularly take the children out in the garden and encourage them to run around, ride the bikes and scooters, and play with the balls and other equipment. The children love the outdoors and being physical like “Physical fizz.” We enjoy regular physical days such as sports days and fitness weeks.
Would you like more information on Startwell?