Family Food Patch
Family Food Patch
The Family Food Patch program aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Tasmanian children and families through promotion of healthy eating and participation in physical activity. Using peer education, the program empowers families and local communities by building and mobilising skills in children’s nutrition, physical activity and community action.
Family Food Patch started in 2001 because of clearly identified issues and frustrations that parents in Tasmania expressed around feeding their children. They reported needing to know more about what a healthy diet for children is, how to manage fussy eaters, healthy and delicious snacks and lunchbox ideas, cooking nutritious family food on a budget, introducing solids and what drinks children should be having. In later years the physical activity needs of children, and fun ideas to get children active became a key issue identified as well.
Volunteer Family Food Educators are provided with free training and information to assist them to address the common food and physical activity concerns of parents in their own local community. They are then encouraged and supported to spread the message about healthy eating and physical activity in their local area. Since 2001, training has been provided to nearly 400 parents, carers and community/health workers in 29 different locations throughout Tasmania.
The Family Food Patch program is delivered in partnership between the Child Health Association of Tasmania (CHAT), and Public Health Services within the Department of Health and Human Services. CHAT receives funding from the Tasmanian State Government, through the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide Family Food Patch.
Who Are Family Food Educators?
Family Food Educators are volunteer parents and community members of any age with an interest in children’s healthy eating and physical activity. Educators come from a variety of different backgrounds, and are often already involved in their community or are interested in sharing their knowledge and experiences with other families.
What Do Family Food Educators Do?
Family Food Educators live and volunteer in our local communities across Tasmania. They promote eating well and being active for children and their families in a whole range of ways such as...
Run workshops or information sessions with parent groups;
Set up Nature Play groups or walking school buses;
Help schools and childcare services get involved with the Move Well Eat Well program;
Host practical food activities like taste testing, cooking or sharing meals at community venues;
Put helpful articles in school or childcare newsletters;
Set up displays or activities at a local community event or school fair;
Encourage school canteens to join the Tasmanian School Canteen accreditation program;
Help sporting groups to provide better food and drink choices;
Promoting healthy messages through their own role modelling;
By being involved with activities that include other parents in their community.
All our Family Food Educators receive a quarterly newsletter, along with personal development and networking opportunities to further enhance skills through a variety of health promotion workshops, specially developed resources and presentations.
In 2011, we collected 15 Family Food Educator stories to include in the Family Food Patch Storybook. This great resource demonstrates the value of the program and the broad range of ways Family Food Educators share nutrition and physical activity information in their communities.The program values all of the different ways Family Food Educators spread their message. What they do depends on their interest, time, availability, and community needs.
In August 2015 we launched our latest Educator Storybook: Helping Tasmanian Families Build Healthy Communities. which further shows how valued the evolving program has been to Educators and community ambassadors in its continual support, updating of resources and the development and strengthening of skills and networks across Tasmania.
In November 2018 we were delighted to receive the Betta Milk Health Achievement Award at the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards.
Kitchen ABC,123 toolkit
Thanks to a 26TEN grant, our new toolkit is finally ready to roll. It includes 30 recipes, showcasing 10 different vegetables, along with visual guides around the language and numbers of cooking – utensils, measurements and recipe descriptions. It also contains a colourful and fun A-Z guide of fruits and vegetables that are readily available in Tasmania.
Hard copies have been sent to each neighbourhood/community house and child and family centre across the State, to be used in food programs, vegetable box schemes, literacy and numeracy programs to name a few.
You can download your own copy of the vegetable recipe cards here:
Family Food Patch YouTube Channel
The program team have developed a series of short, educational and user friendly video clips on the topics we cover in our Family Food Patch Educator training. These great resources are free for anyone to share with their family, friends, networks and work spaces. Check out ideas on Getting Kids Involved with food, Lunchboxes and Snacks, Introducing Solids, Healthy Smiles, Let's Get Physical and much more!
Physical Activity Toy Boxes
All of our trained Family Food Educators can have access to our FREE regional activity boxes - full of children's physical activity toys and equipment, games and music. The activity box items are a great way to share healthy eating and physical activity messages with groups of children at community events, small gatherings, parties or simply in your own home. The toys can be borrowed as a whole set or individual pieces at a time. Contact us for more details!
Download our simple and fun family activity resources promoting Nature Play.
We have included some of our recipes on family activity cards, including fun ideas to help get children involved.
Table Treats: Making Meal Time Fun
Download our fun activity postcards - great for sharing with friends and community groups.
How Can I Be Involved?
If you are an individual, or an organisation, that is interested in participating in or bringing the Family Food Patch training to your community, please don’t hesitate to contact the Program Manager.
Please note that the Family Food Patch program has very strong community support within Tasmania, and as such we get many more requests for training than we currently have the capacity to fulfil. The Program Manager will be happy to discuss your request for training and advise you of our current commitments and plans. Each year we schedule two training courses across Tasmania – most recently we have trained in Queenstown, Rocherlea, Chigwell, St Helens and Devonport.
Requesting Assistance from Our Volunteers
If you think your community group may benefit from a volunteer Family Food Educator presenting a short topic, hosting an information stall or coordinating an activity we welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you. You can download our Request Form or contact the Program Manager for further details.
Are you interested in learning about delicious healthy eating and fun ways to get children active?
Family Food Patch runs a FREE training program to help with practical ideas, resources and support for you to share with your family and wider community!
Our next training will be in Term 2 in the northern region and then Term 4 in the south of Tasmania. Venue and locations TBC.
Free childcare and some help with travel available.
For more details contact: Emma - 0438 926 242 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to register your interest in attending a Family Food Patch training please contact the Program Manager for further details or download our Expression of Interest Form.
Follow us on Facebook for up to date links, information, recipes, activity ideas and much more!
Family Food Patch YouTube Channel
Nutrition Australia: www.nutritionaustralia.org
Eat Well Tasmania: www.eatwelltas.org.au
Better Health Channel: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au
Australian Breastfeeding Association: www.breastfeeding.asn.au
Parents Voice: www.parentsvoice.org.au
Dietitians Association of Australia: www.daa.asn.au
Move Well Eat Well: www.movewelleatwell.tas.gov.au
Tasmanian School Canteen Accreditation Program: www.tascanteenassn.org.au/coolca