What is Munch and Move?
Munch & Move is a state government health initiative made available to NSW early childhood education providers, to encourage the healthy development of children from birth to 5 years. The program focuses on supporting healthy eating and physical activity, along with reducing small screen time.
The Munch and Move Program
The Munch and Move program is part of the National Quality Framework and the Early Years Learning Framework. It supports the NSW Government’s priority in preventing childhood obesity.
Using a range of fun, play-based learning experiences, Munch and Move encourages your child to choose healthy eating options over unhealthy ones and to incorporate exercise into their daily activities so they become a natural and instinctive part of your little one’s life.
The Munch & Move program is based on six health-promoting key messages:
- Encouraging and supporting breastfeeding
- Choosing water as a drink
- Choosing healthier snacks
- Eating more fruit and vegetables
- Getting active each day
- Turning off the screen and getting active
Supporting healthy eating
To promote healthy eating in early childhood, Munch and Move incorporates the Australian Dietary Guidelines, recommending a wide variety of nutrients such as protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, plus minerals and vitamins to assist your child’s healthy development and growth and to help protect them from childhood illnesses.
Developing physical activity habits
And just as significantly, promoting physical activity helps children build stronger muscles and bones, helping prevent obesity and maintaining a healthy weight through their childhood and beyond.
Why is Munch and Move important?
There are many reasons why children do not exercise enough or do not eat well.
Perhaps they don’t like the taste of certain foods, or they get bored with the lack of variety or they don’t have the knowledge to make good choices about food.
They may see moving their bodies as something they are not good at or to endure, or perhaps they prefer to play with their iPad or watch television.
Early childhood is the best time to start supporting healthy eating and physical activity habits with both being crucial for their development and well-being.
That’s why Grace Village has become part of the NSW Health initiative and is now a certified Munch and Move early learning centre.
Munch and Move at Grace Village Early Learning
A team of our early childhood educators have been trained in the NSW Health initiative and have new resources to implement a fun, play-based approach to supporting healthy eating and physical activity in young children.
Your child’s nutrition has always been important to us. Our dietician-approved menus feature a wide variety of healthy recipes for kids, with wholesome and fun meals for your little one to explore, and experience new tastes with other little villagers.
Our physical activities are filled with stimulating and various forms of exercise in our tree-filled natural outdoor play area complete with a teepee, sandpit, climbing mounds, balancing stumps, and natural creek with a water pump.
Many of the Munch and Move activities we offer at Grace Village are easily replicated at home for families and caregivers too, and provide simple, practical tips and ideas to engage children in active play and healthy eating.
Munch and Move Activities
Encourage children’s healthy eating
Our little villagers plant vegetable seeds in our many garden beds. We learn to water and care for them every day. We watch the plants grow to be big and strong until the vegetables are ready for picking and eating.
When the vegetables and fruit are fully grown, they are picked by the children and given to the Grace Village chefs to use in the children’s special menu. The children are proud of their work helping to grow plants and provide food for healthy eating.
Cooking and food preparation
Getting little ones into the Grace Village kitchen is a great way to encourage healthy eating habits by developing an adventurous palate and encouraging fussy eaters to try new tastes and textures.
Feeling, cutting, spooning new ingredients and foods, and the smells from cooking encourage children to taste them and to talk about why they like and don’t like different tastes.
Decorating and plating the food is great for kids to explore food integrated into play.
Encouraging physical activity habits
Grace Village, along with daily play activities, have structured programs in soccer and yoga, introducing little ones to fundamental movement skills. These programs show them new and varied ways to exercise and teach them good physical activity habits.
The soccer program with Soccer Pat is for ages 2-6. During the session, football skills and game knowledge, speed and agility with the ball are taught healthy development of their gross motor skills. The little ones also discover a new way to interact with their peers.
As part of our well-being program, yoga is a great exercise routine and for the healthy development of concentration, self-esteem, academic performance. It also improves fundamental movement skills in strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and fitness.
Yoga eases and assists behavioural problems, regulation of emotions, and reducing depression and anxiety.
Grace Village is very happy to be able to offer the Munch and Move program as part of its commitment to the National Quality Framework and the Early Years Learning Framework, and we’ll be adding new activities into your little one’s day to get them to Munch and Move! Watch our posts on social media for all the fun activities you can try at home as well.
Grace Village is childcare reimagined.
Learn more about Munch and Move at Grace Village on your own personal tour
Join our Centre Director for a 30-minute guided tour of Grace Village Early Learning and find out more about your child’s home away from home