Good Start Program

The award-winning, statewide Good Start Program works on improving the health and wellbeing of Maori and Pacific Islander children and their families. The program aims to lower the levels of chronic disease and obesity by working with families to build their knowledge, skills and confidence about healthy eating, physical activity and lifestyle practices.

The Good Start team works with Maori and Pacific Islander children in schools to teach them about eating healthy food and being active. It also works with families to talk about healthy pregnancies, healthy babies and healthy children. In addition, the program provides healthcare professionals with tools to support Maori and Pacific Islander families.

The Good Start team has created activity books, board games and booklets for Maori and Pacific Islander children to learn about healthy eating and physical activity. They have also made booklets and posters for Maori and Pacific Islander families, including the Healthy Taro Leaf (a cultural adaptation of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating), healthy eating and physical activity guides and healthy pregnancy and healthy baby booklets.

Resources

Children’s health information

MPI Team bookletThe Maori and Pacific Islander (MPI) Team booklet uses cartoons characters from 7 different cultural backgrounds and Tabu (the villain) to explain the importance of healthy eating and physical activity.

MIP Team booklet

 

MPI Health Challenge bookletThis resource is a simple diary distributed to children to monitor their daily physical activity and nutrition intake. This helps the children to become more aware of their lifestyle choices and see any progressive changes they have made.

MIP Team Health Challenge booklet

Activity Warriors’ bookThis book has various nutrition and physical activities to encourage children to adopt healthy behaviours. Activities revolve around key messages of drinking less sugary drinks, smaller portion sizes, be more active and eat more vegetables.

MPI Team Activity Warriors’ book

Island Quest board gameThis culturally tailored board game has been developed to be used with a group of children for nutrition and physical activity education.

The children are told that they have to make their journey home from school, but are warned that Tabu the villain, is on the island and trying to turn all the food unhealthy. The game includes ‘Quest Cards’, which contain questions and physical challenges.

Contact us to hire the board game.

Family health information

Healthy Taro LeafThis resource is a cultural adaptation of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.

Background
The background is a woven pandanus mat, a traditional floor covering used at meal times or for community meetings.

The plate
A heart shaped taro leaf was chosen in place of a plate as it is a staple vegetable eaten (both root and leaves) across the Pacific.

Foods
The foods selected are similar to those included in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating however, there are variations easily recognised by Maori and Pacific Islander people.

Healthy Taro Leaf

Blank Taro LeafThis education tool is used in conjunction with food models for school and community activities.

Participants learn different food groups and portions sizes by placing food appropriately on the leaf.

Blank Taro Leaf

Maori and Pacific Islander Guide to Healthy LivingThis guide provides culturally tailored information about healthy eating, physical activity and healthy lifestyle for Maori and Pacific Islander families.

Maori and Pacific Islander Guide to Healthy Living

Good start to life

Contact us

Find out more

For more information about the Good Start Program, including eligibility criteria, catchment area restrictions, location details and referral advice follow the links below:

For families and carers

For health professionals