Engaging the community to create healthier food environments

Engaging the community to create healthier food environments

Learn how Winchelsea Swimming Pool engaged with their local community to make healthy changes to the foods and drinks on offer.

It’s never been more important to ensure the health and wellbeing of your organisation’s staff and visitors. Promoting and providing access to healthy food and drinks is an essential element of this.

Engaging the community in making healthy changes is key to their success and sustainability. Finding out what your staff, customers, or visitors would like to see happen can give you direction on where and how to make changes, as well as increasing the likelihood that they will be satisfied with the outcome. It can also foster a sense of involvement and ownership.

The Surf Coast Shire Council recently overhauled the foods and drinks on offer at the Winchelsea Swimming Pool kiosk, with support from The Healthy Eating Advisory Service (HEAS) and input from their staff and the local community.

In 2018, 90% of the items for sale at the kiosk were assessed against the Victorian Government Healthy Choices Guidelines as RED (Limit).

The local community were surveyed to find out what changes they would like to see, their food and drink preferences, and asked about their thoughts on branding. School students participated in taste testing and rating the healthier options, as well as suggesting ideas for a new design and slogan for the kiosk. Surf Coast Shire Council then worked with HEAS to plan their steps to implement changes. This included sourcing healthier food and drinks and addressing unhealthy promotional materials.

The new, vibrant Thrive and Shine kiosk now offers 55% GREEN (Best Choice), 45% AMBER (Choose carefully) and no RED foods and drinks. The revamped healthy kiosk was launched with a community pool party, healthy giveaways and fun active games.

How can you engage your community and start making healthy changes to your food environment?

To find out more about how the Health Eating Advisory Service can assist you to provide and promote healthier foods and drinks in your organisation - visit the website.

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