The adoption and implementation of a healthy food policy in an organisation provides a positive step towards a reduction in the incidence of chronic disease and illness associated with poor nutrition in the community. Nutritious foods and an active lifestyle are important for optimal health throughout life and reduce the risk of health conditions such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure later in life.
A healthy food policy provides direction on what type of food and drink should be provided at:
The development of a healthy food policy for Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation began in 2008. Earlier work with Tharawal including the Koori Community Kitchen, Koori Community garden and a walking group set the scene for cultivating conversations on healthier food choices at community events run at Tharawal leading to the development of a healthy food policy.
Once the food policy was endorsed by the Board, a healthy food manual was developed to guide staff in choosing healthy food and drinks, keeping food safe and developing menus. Training was conducted to inform staff of the policy and the use of the manual. Food choices at all events and programs at Tharawal are now healthy including healthier choices at BBQs, meetings and for group activities.
The MDSI provides services to a range of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups in the Campbelltown LGA. A policy has been developed that not only highlights healthy eating but also access to healthy, culturally appropriate, affordable and acceptable food.
A healthy food manual is being developed and will include healthy choices from the top five culturally and linguistically diverse groups in the Campbelltown LGA - Spanish, Arabic, Filipino, Pacific Communities (Maori, Samoan and Tongan) and the new and emerging community of North Africa. For each CALD group ideas on how to make traditional foods healthier have been incorporated. MDSI workers will be trained in the application of the policy and use of the manual.
Further work is currently being explored around a guide for developing food policies.
Contact Danielle Weber on 02 8738 5825 or email Danielle.Weber@sswahs.nsw.gov.au