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Working with future generations to improve their health

April 30, 2021

The PHN has been supporting Darling Downs Health to deliver The Root Cause Children’s Health Program which works in partnership with schools and families to educate and empower children to have a positive relationship with food and sleep.

With term one already completed, the Program aims to influence over 5,000 children in 19 schools over the following 12 months in the Darling Downs region.

Darling Downs Health Senior Community Wellness Coordinator Jodie Van Zandbergen believes the program helps children and families understand the changes needed to living a healthier lifestyle.

“This is part of our commitment to supporting a healthier generation,” Ms Van Zandbergen said.

“Yearly research shows that our children are some of the unhealthiest in Queensland and we are working hard with our community to turn that around.”

The Children’s Health Program features in-person workshops for students, parents, and staff, plus an array of classroom resources, professional development and an online portal full of resources for families.

To date, 95% of parents who attended said they learned new ideas to help with families health and eating habits.

Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN CEO Merrilyn Strohfeldt backs the program as a useful tool for families and the community.

“Ensuring that parents, schools and communities have the tools and resources they need to empower our future generations to understand how to live a healthier lifestyle is a program worth supporting,” Ms Strohfeldt said.

The Root Cause Children’s Health Program which incorporates the Mad Food Science Incursion program has previously been accessed by over 152 schools Australia wide and impacted over 37 000 students, teachers and parents.

Local instructor for the program in the Darling Downs, Victoria Byrnes, loves seeing the kids reactions.

“This experiment is about encouraging children to taste with their tongue and not their eyes. In a room of 100 students, they all see the green smoothie and shout YUK! But once they have a taste, they are lining up for seconds and thirds,” Ms Byrnes said.

The Root Cause Children’s Health Program has information and resources available on their website for parents and communities to access.