Resources and Information
Resources are in PDF format. Click on the resources below to download:
Every year the Opal prgogram in the City of Marion has a new theme that is based on either Physical Activity or Healthy Eating.
Theme 1. Water. The Original Cool Drink
Nothing beats plain water. Cold from the fridge or straight from the tap, it's a natural refresher. So make it the first choice for you and your family.
Why Water is the Best Drink?
Soft drinks, fruit drinks, cordial, flavoured mineral waters, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit juice all contain water. But they also contain sugar and sometimes caffeine, so they are not good for you to have every day. Drinking sugary drinks regularly instead of water may cause tooth decay and weight gain.
So limit sweet drinks and drink 'Water. The Original Cool Drink'.
For more information, click on the below links:
- Water. The Original Cool Drink Brochure (939 kb)
- Water. The Original Cool Drink. Campaign Action Sheet for Primary Schools (423 kb)
- Water. The Original Cool Drink. Q and A's(2626 kb)
Here are 10 tips for success:
- Provide water or milk with all meals and snacks.
- Always have a jug of fresh tap water on the bench.
- Teach kids to help themselves to water, but to ask for other drinks.
- Add ice or straws to the water for crunch and fun.
- Buy refillable water bottles for your kids to take to school.
- Pack water for outings so you don't need to buy drinks.
- Reduce temptation by not having sugary drinks in the house, except for special occasions.
- Lead by example - make water your drink of choice.
- As a family, plan what you'll do with all the money you save.
- Keep trying - changes take time, but the health of your children is a great reward.
Theme 2. Give the Screen a Rest. Active Play is Best!
"Give the Screen a Rest. Active Play is Best" is the second campaign message for the Opal program.
This campaign encourages children, young people and their families to consider the amount of recreational time spent in front of a screen and instead to choose activity as a better option. Screen time can include time spent watching TV or DVDs, playing on the computer, texting or playing video games. Studies have shown that high levels of screen time and inactivity are linked to children being overweight or obese.
The recommendations for screen time are:
- 0 hours for babies and children under 2 years
- 1 hour or less per day for children 2-5 years
- 2 hours or less per day for children 6-18 years
South Australians currently spend more recreational time in front of a screen than the national average, with 13-14 year olds watching more than 4 hours every day which reduces their opportunity to benefit from being active.
There are a number of benefits in getting families active and decreasing the amount of time spent in front of the screen. Active play helps children to develop their communication skills, use their imaginations and builds confidence to interact with their families and friends. Being active also helps with bone and muscle strength, coordination, flexibility and cardiovascular health.
For more information about screen time, please download the below brochures:
- Give the screen a rest. Active Play is Best. (322 kb)
- Give the screen a rest. Active Play is Best. Community Action Sheets for Child Care, Pre and Primary Schools (474 kb)
- Give the screen a rest. Active Play is Best. Community Action Sheets for Stakeholders (475 kb)
Try some of these great tips from other parents:
- Let your kids know how much screen time they're allowed each day
- Keep bedrooms TV free
- Go for a walk after dinner as a family - even if its just a couple of laps around the block
- Have one day a week without TV, computers or electronic games
- Be aware of how much TV you watch and maybe cut back yourself
- Encourage your children to play outside whenever possible
Theme 3. Make it a Fresh Snack
"Make it a Fresh Snack" is the third campaign message for the Opal program.
The campaign is about encouraging children, young people and their families to consider replacing unhealthy snacks with healthy foods. The focus is on choosing fresh and unpackaged products such as fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products and wholegrain breads and cereals. Unpackaged foods will contain less added salt, sugar and fat and will be high in fibre and vitamins and minerals.
There are a number of benefits in getting children and families to choose a 'fresh' snack. Healthy snacks enable children to obtain the energy and nutrients they require for healthy growth and development and contrary to popular belief, it is quite often cheaper to buy fresh rather than processed food. For example fresh apples cost $4.48/kg compared to dried fruit straps at $42.45/kg or potato chips cost $28.67/kg compared to homemade popcorn which only costs $3.25/kg. It is also cheaper to buy fruit and vegetables that are in season, or try buying them canned or frozen.
If you have fussy eaters try making just a few changes a week- Remember it can take up to 10 tries before a child will like a food so keep persisting and you will be surprised how tastes change. Kids are influenced by parental behaviour, so if they see you enjoying fresh snack choices they will be more inclined to try it. Involving children in the shopping, preparation and even growing for foods can be a great way to influence their food choices.
For more information on quick and easy snack ideas and the benefits of fresh snacks, please download the OPAL brochures:
- Make it a Fresh Snack - Adult Brochure (1716 kb)
- Make it a Fresh Snack - Poster (995 kb)
- Make it a Fresh Snack. Campaign Action Sheet for Primary Schools(3213 kb)
- Healthy Snack Ideas(354 kb)
Try these quick and easy snack ideas for the home and lunch box:
- Slice of raisin bread cut into fingers
- Fruit kebabs made from diced melon threaded onto a straw or popstick
- Boiled egg peeled and ready to eat
- Fruit Smoothie
- Crunchy vegie sticks with dip
- Mini pizza's made on English muffins with tomato paste-just top with their favourite toppings
- Tub of low fat yoghurt (freeze the night before in summer)
- Mini fruit muffins- just add seasonal fruit to a plain muffin mix
- Low fat cheese and crackers
- Snack pack or tinned fruit
Theme 4. Think Feet First. Step, Cycle and Scoot to School
Think Feet First – step, cycle, scoot to school’ is the current theme for the Opal Program.
The message is to encourage parents and students to think about how they travel to school and around their community. The focus is on choosing active ways to travel to school such as walking, cycling or other non-motorised modes of travel. Being active every day is important for everyone and active travel to school offers an opportunity to incorporate additional physical activity into your child’s daily routine.
The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day. However, data from the 2007 Australian Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey show only 32% of children meet these guidelines.
Physically active children are healthier, happier and more socially connected than children who have more sedentary lifestyles. Children who actively travel to school have higher levels of physical activity and improved fitness compared to children who do not walk or cycle to school. They are also more likely to be active adults, resulting in lifelong health benefits.
Do you and your children ‘Think Feet First?
Why step, cycle, scoot to school?
- Keeps our children and ourselves healthy
- Builds strong muscles and bones
- Improves heart health
- Improves concentration and helps learning
- Creates healthier and safer places to live with less traffic and less pollution
- Provides a great opportunity for you to share time with your children
- Gives kids time to spend with their friends
- Helps kids to get to know their local neighbourhood
- Helps kids learn about road safety
Most children, when asked, would love to step, cycle or scoot to school. They are often prepared to go further than you think, so ‘Think Feet First’ as often as you can and try to include active travel in your family’s day!
Mornings can be a busy time, organising breakfast, school clothes, lunches and more. Involve the kids in helping out by:
- Getting the kids to get up a bit earlier to help in the morning.
- Having the kids help get breakfast and lunches ready.
- Encouraging kids to pack their school bag, check their bike tyres and get their helmet ready the night before.
Find the best and safest way to step, cycle or scoot to school by visiting the Cycling page on the South Australian Goverment's website to plan your journey. If the journey to or from school is too long, park so you can walk with the kids for the last 10 minutes of the trip.
Make it a habit
- Set up some reminders to keep the kids on track – a note on the fridge or a reminder on your mobile phone.
- After only a few weeks it will become a habit, then it will be part of the daily routine.
- If we ‘Think Feet First’ for short trips we can all build a healthier community for our kids.
Morning catch up
Travel to or from school can be a great opportunity to connect with your kids about their day. Without the distraction of driving through the busy school traffic, you’ll have more time to chat. ‘Think Feet First – step, cycle, scoot to school’ is good for kids and good for you.
The more families and children that walk, cycle and scoot to school, the safer the community is for everyone. Less traffic around schools means less pollution at the school gate and safer streets for our kids.
Being active on the way to school is a great way to teach kids about road safety. Remember to reinforce the road safety messages of Stop, Look, Listen and Think before they cross the road. If your child is under the age of 12 years, they can ride their bike on the footpath and this is a great way for them to build their confidence before riding on the road. When kids are cycling or scooting, remember to ensure they always wear a safety helmet. Planning the trip, becoming familiar with the route, following the road rules and chatting along the way is a great way to ensure the trip to school is safe and fun too!
For more road safety information visit the DPTI website.
If your organisation would like to order these resources, please contact Danielle on 0421 469 295.
City of Marion Opal Team
Monday to Friday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Phone: 0421 469 295
Post: PO Box 21, Oaklands Park SA 5047
Come in and visit us in person:
Marion OPAL Space
Glandore Community Centre
25 Naldera Street
Glandore SA 5037
In person opening hours: Monday to Friday 10.00am - 2.00pm