Launceston TAS, Australia

What would it take for every child in Launceston Tamar Valley to be healthy by 2035?

More than 25% of kids don’t have regular access to healthy, nutritious food. Health services are less accessible for the children and families that need them most. More of our children are overweight or obese. There is no data on mental health.

Posted by Sharon on the 29th Jun 2015.

The statistics mentioned come from the State of Launceston's Children report which was published in July 2014, providing a baseline measure of how we are doing. Community consultations occurred from August 2014 to February 2015, and Community Committees in each area (George Town, Beaconsfield, Waverley/St Leonards, Northern Suburbs/Lilydale, Ravenswood) have discussed the data collected.

Now it's over to you. We want to know what it would take for every child to be healthy in every way- physically, mentally, emotionally, developmentally and psychosocially.

teresawhitney - Universal access to breakfast programs at school

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teresawhitney - Support for parents to access fresh produce, eg through Second bite or other companies. Training in how to cook these things into healthy family meals that are nutritious and inexpensive. Similar training could also be given to older children so they can support their parents with preparing meals

Sharon - I agree Teresa- sounds like you and Amanda are thinking along similar lines- what other companies are out there? Wonder what this training could look like?

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Amanda3 - Provide basic cooking classes to educate & give people the learning tools to create meals on a budget.

Sharon - Great idea Amanda- in the Waverley/St Leonards community committee we were talking about after hours classes that community members could run at a local school or community hall

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Katherinebrooks - Healthy food can be quite expensive, being able to access this really is a barrier and another is basic education and the foods .ie Care giver, giving child a fruit stick thinking they're doing the right thing as it says fruit however it had a massive amount of sugar

Sharon - I agree Katy- how do you think access can be addressed in the northern suburbs? Community has said there is a lack of supermarkets especially in the Rocherlea area and it's very difficult for parents of young children without a car to get to Mowbray. How to address this? Perhaps a community food co-op that sources fruit and veges from the growers and distributes to community members?

alison - Look out for information about the Northern Suburbs Community Centre's A Peace of the Garden Social Enterprise - it is about to expand. Follow the Peace Garden's Facebook page for more information.

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bofa - We have the best foods and the worst health outcomes in Tasmania. We need All people having easy access to good food not just junk food. Local food economy focus is needed. so work n on the supply chain AND get kids to be aware of how great good fòod tastes

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pauljmallett - To my mind, a healthy childhood includes many things, like access to healthy food (as noted by BOFA and others below), active parents modelling movement/exercise/play and access for kids to play parks and sports (maybe dollars to overcome subscription fees, and a partnership with Active Launceston), maintenance of healthy body weight (let’s have the fittest kids in the nation), access to allied health professionals (which may include training OTs, Physio, Speech Therapists in Tasmania), and increased access to GPS (including more bulk billing doctors).

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Vic - education ,more programs that encourage healthy happy life and community wanting to help and learn how to change for the better. vic

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trish - Teach the parent the importance of healthy living/eating. Parents need the tools to role model to their children

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misspiggy - put on a health promotion showing how to keep health and what to avoid

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Lori - Introduce community gardens, these provide fresh produce as well as improving neighbourhoods and communities connecting with the environment. Community gardens successful work around the world from North America, UK and Asia. This concept could run in connection with Community Centres, schools and councils. Families apply for and work on an ‘allotment garden’ that are supported by knowledgeable others or community volunteers. School students could harvest their produce; learn to cook seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as developing business skills at market/harvest festivals. The benefits are endless: increased vegetable consumption, exercise, breaking down isolation, sharing of food production, less crime and vandalism.

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alison - giving children and families the opportunity to learn about foods how they grow or are made, what they taste like and how to use them is so important. Matching this with increasing availability and affordability of foods like vegetables and fruit in the community will support eating well.

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Katherinebrooks - Better access to doctors and health providers. Allow all patients with valid concession cards to be bulk billed.

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Katherinebrooks - Help care givers by showing them to eat better with the basics in the cupboard. Eating healthy is expensive , show ways to eat better on very limited budget

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EvArcher - Access to sports in the Lilydale community.

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EvArcher - A skate park in Lilydale to give young families something to do and a place to meet.

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Vic - There should be a strong readiness for school and a partnership between schools and business.7270.

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Vic - Need more specialist services , eg,speech and ECIS facilities.7270

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Vic - Do not want the Child health nurse to lose any more hours, they were reduced and we want them back.7270

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Vic - Want more human services local,eg ,psychologists to make people aware.7270 Need men's health programs,especially for young men.7270

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Vic - Bring back parenting courses, so many things i never knew before i did the parenting course, it's just so valuable.

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Vic - Would like a visiting dental van, there used to be one but it's gone now.7270

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trish - Yet again communication some parents just do not know what & how to do things due to their busy lives. But least start showing them new ways/ideas through school newsletters or facebooking. Bring back the dental van, school nurses

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kmiller - I do not understand the notion that 'healthy eating is expensive'. I can buy a whole bag of potatoes for the cost of a take away serve, a bag of apples for the price of a box of processed fruit sticks and the makings of a hamburger with the lot for a whole family for a fraction of the cost of actually buying hamburgers pre-made. I can make a roast dinner for less than a packet of cigarettes. I agree that education is implicit in realising change but so is having the desire to change. There are plenty of obese wealthy people who make the same bad food choices as some low income families and vice versa. I would see an average of 5-15 dollars worth of junk food in most lunch boxes every day with many students having no 'real' food at all. Often the only real food students eat is the food we provide at Breakfast Club, the fruit we give them as they walk out the door and the produce they cook in the SAK. My question would be, how do we promote a desire to change our obese nation rather than a selected socio economic group?

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PDSStaff - What currently works well – Our Breakfast Club

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Breakfast Club Cooking Club Chat N Munch Learn to eat Healthy

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Breakfast Clubs Access to cooking groups which are welcoming - provide skills, connections and support.

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Sporting clubs LOCAL

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Programs to teach primary school children to make simple healthy meals

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Teach older primary school children how to meet basic needs - washing clothes, hygiene, cleaning etc

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RavenswoodCommunityM - *Move well, eat well in the primary schools *Chat and Munch *Early Years Programs *Cooking Clubs These work well

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RavenswoodCommunityM - *Breakfast *Feed me a story *Dental Nurse *Immunisation Clinics

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Outreach - Stay & Play

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Free or cheap trips for all families

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Outreach youth mentor for primary and high school children to help link them to programs, support and back to school. And to give the children a voice.

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RavenswoodCommunityM - Sports, Music, Dance lessons/groups available locally at a reasonable price. Activities outside of school hours and on weekends.

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RavenswoodCommunityM - More free community events

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RavenswoodCommunityM - More stay and plays

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