Grow Well

Why ‘Grow Well’?

Raising kids can be a daunting prospect for many parents and carers, let alone raising them in a way that sets them up for a long and healthy life. We know that early childhood is a really important time to start learning who you are and where you fit in the world; and to begin creating good habits which set lifelong patterns. We want to support families to do the best they can to ‘grow’ their children well and to help them to reach their best potential. Kids learn what they live, so good role modelling by all the special people in their world is important right from the start.

We’ve got tips on physical and emotional wellbeing, both of which play a huge part in the lives of our kids, but also impact on the adults they become. Growing a child’s self esteem and sense of belonging is just as important as what you feed them. So while the two are connected, we’ve separated them into ‘mind’ and ‘body’ to help you get to where you need to be, more easily.

Get physical, eat well, have fun

Growing healthy kids means feeding them well, teaching them to be physically active, to have fun, and to like themselves. Sounds easy, but it can sometimes be challenging.

In Australia about a quarter of 2-3 year olds and 1 in 4-5 year olds (or 21%) old kids are overweight or obese, and we know that overweight kids have a significant chance of becoming overweight adult, who then go on to develop chronic health problems. The locally based Healthy Children’s Initiative delivers a range of programs in the Penrith, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Lithgow communities that encourage families to be physically active, to eat well, and to have fun as they grow.

We also know that developing a child’s self-esteem and sense of belonging starts from the day they arrive in the world. Being loved, and loving yourself and your body, are key ingredients to developing resilience in preparation for the teenage years and young adulthood where body image and identity are so powerful. When you feel good about your body, you’re more likely to have good self-esteem and mental health, as well as a balanced attitude to eating and physical activity.

A healthy body image and self-acceptance in childhood can lay the foundations for good physical and mental health later in life. So honest open communication about bodies, how they work and how unique and different we each are is a great starting point.

Support Programs

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Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District