What is Family Food Patch?
The Family Food Patch program aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Tasmanian children and families through better nutrition and physical activity participation. 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 because of the clearly identified issues and frustrations that parents in Tasmania were reporting around feeding 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, introducing solids and what drinks kids 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.
Family Food Educators are provided with training and information to assist them to address the common food and physical activity concerns of parents in their local community. They are then encouraged and supported to spread the message about healthy eating and physical activity in their local area.
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.
Since 2001, training has been provided to 310 parents and community/health workers in 27 different locations throughout Tasmania.
The Family Food Patch program is delivered in partnership between the Child Health Association of Tasmania, and Population Health, Department of Health and Human Services.
This initiative is funded by:
- the Tasmanian Government through the Department of Health and Human Services
- the Australian and Tasmanian Government, as a joint initiative under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.
Who are Family Food Educators?
Family Food Educators are volunteer parents and community members of any age with an interest in children’s nutrition 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.