Health Tracker project

Creating healthy outcomes for children

We're ensuring children have the best start in life through a new initiative to help improve their health and wellbeing called Health Tracker.

Gender equity

This year we are focusing on creating gender equity among children in their early years. Most children have a strong sense of gender identity by the age of 3 to 4. This is a critical time when gender roles and stereotypical notions of what it means to be masculine or feminine are shaped.

There are endless opportunities for parents, guardians, educators, early years professionals and policymakers to have a positive influence on gender through encouraging children’s play, language, toys and storytelling.

Promoting positive gender norms in the early years creates the necessary foundation for children to grow and develop their ideas and understanding about gender and to learn about equal and respectful relationships. This in turn influences children’s sense of identity and wellbeing.

Resources:

Healthy eating

Last year, children were educated about healthy eating and exercise at kindergarten and child care. Topics included two fruit and five veg, added sugar content in drinks, walking to kindergarten and child care, and hydration.

As key influencers in their families, the children then took their learnings home creating a ripple effect that not only improves the health of their family but sets up good habits for the future.

Since the project began, parents have reported that their children have influenced the food their family eats, describing food items as “sometimes food” and “everyday food”. Children were also auditing their lunchbox contents and snacks both at kindergarten, child care and at home.

Health and wellbeing statistics

Research by Council through the Municipal Profile in 2016 found that:

  • Only 10.9 per cent of children in Moonee Valley eat the recommended intake of fruit and vegetables.
  • This decreases to just 5 per cent when considering the consistency of intake.
  • In the western region, 2.9 percent of children consumed the recommended amount of vegetables.
  • Less than one third of children engage in sufficient physical activity.
  • Issues with weight gain and obesity in children will be observed into the future.
  • Children and adolescents spend approximately 64 percent of the whole day and 60 percent of the school day sitting.
  • One in three year 5 students reported that they participated in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • This declined to one in five Year 8 student and one in eight Year 11 students.
  • More than one in four Victorian students in Years 5, 8 and 11 were overweight or obese in 2014.
  • 23 percent of 4 year old children are overweight or obese when starting school.

Resources

Read more about the Australian Government, National Health and Medical Research Council.

Read the Australian Government, Department of Health, National Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines.

Moonee Valley Municipal Profile 2016 (pdf, 14MB)

Last updated: Monday, 30 April 2018, 1:00 AM