Munch & Move: Encouraging a healthy start in life for rural children

To support preschools and long day care services in the area, the Far West Local Health District (LHD) Health Promotion Team will be distributing ‘Encouraging and Supporting Breastfeeding in Childcare’ resource kits at the locally funded Munch & Move workshop in Broken Hill on Wednesday 29 August 2018.

The Enhance Munch & Move Everyday workshop is co-facililated by the LHD and the Registered Training Organisation, Early Childhood Research and Training Centre (ECTARC) covering breastfeeding and healthy eating, physical activity and reducing screen time.

Munch & Move endorses the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendation that babies receive only breastmilk for the first six months. The 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey reported that almost all babies were initially breastfeed, 61% were exclusively breastfed for less than one month and this declined to 15% at around six months of age.

“Factors for good health in rural areas are complex, though breastfeeding contributes to better infant health outcomes. With a large number of infants under 12 months of age attending early childcare services, educators play an important role in facilitating the continuation of breastfeeding for those mothers who wish to when their child starts in care,” said Ms Jodie Rusten, Training and Development Officer from ECTARC.

“The first state run Munch & Move workshop was held in Broken Hill 10 years ago,” said Ms Rebecca Crawford, Health Promotion Officer covering Far West LHD. “One of the six program key messages is to ‘Encourage and support breastfeeding’. The resource kit is designed to assist early childhood eduction and care services create a supportive breastfeeding environment for families. The resource provides practical tools including a breastfeeding welcome sticker and information for families, sample breastfeeding policy and plan, training activities and resources for educators.”

“The workshop is a great opportunity for educators to meet face to face and receive the latest information, practical tips and resources on breastfeeding, healthy eating and physical activity. The Encouraging and Supporting Breastfeeding in Childcare resource kit complements the ongoing assistance our team has provided to local early childhood services participating in the Munch & Move program, over the last 10 years,” said Ms Crawford. “A number of the documents in the resource kit are designed to be shared with families so services and families can work together to develop a breastfeeding plan prior to commencing care.”

Mr Jodie Rusten said: “It is important services support families with the feeding option they choose for their child. The Munch & Move program has been assisting services for a number of years with resources and training to support them to achieve their Assessment and Rating requirments, as part of the National Quality Framework.”

For more information or for breastfeeding support, phone the National Breastfeeding Hotline on 1800 686 268, 7 days a week or the Australian Breastfeeding Association at www.breastfeeding.asn.au/ More information on Munch & Move can be found at: www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/campaigns-programs/about-munch-move

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