Posted by Gary Denhard


Another six children at Te Waka Unua school have earned the right to call themselves Healthy Heroes.
They have completed a variety of ‘healthy lifestyle’ activities which they now aim to incorporate into their daily lives.
Te Waka Unua has been following the Rotary New Zealand Healthy Heroes programme for 10 years. It brings together children, schools, families and communities, with the aim of building lasting habits to prevent obesity and type two diabetes.
The children aim to achieve five challenges for five days a week for nine weeks. Rewards are given by Ferrymead Rotary at week three, week six and at the finish. Students who completed the programme several years ago help and encourage the younger children to achieve. The programme is designed so that students who don’t complete all the challenges still receive plenty of benefits.
Te Waka Unua’s deputy principal, James Souter, said all the children learned about healthy habits, and could recite the challenges and activities they did to achieve the rewards.
Walking the family dog or a neighbour’s dog not only meets the exercise challenge, but also that of helping others. Getting plenty of sleep is an easy challenge for most students.
They found that playing board games and reading books instead of watching TV and using devices was fun and stretched their minds. Eating well and enjoying three vegetables and two fruits was easy too, especially now that school lunches are provided by the government.
Ideas to achieve the challenges are available on a website with links to other sites promoting healthy lifestyles.
To find out more about the Healthy Heroes programme for your school click here.