In the 2010/11 school year, the Department of Health invited 30 pre-primary institutions to participate in the StartSmart@school.hk Pilot Project. The Pilot Project aimed at cultivating among young children a healthy lifestyle, while assessing the feasibility and effectiveness of interventions aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity in the preschool setting.
This project was conducted in three stages (training and support, multi-sectoral collaboration and experience sharing). Through support and training, school personnel, food preparation staff, parents and care-givers gained confidence and ability to create and strengthen a favourable environment and culture which are supportive of healthy eating and physical activity, and helped children aged 2 to 6 years cultivate healthy lifestyle habits.
To build knowledge among schools, parents and children regarding nutrition and physical activity, the Department of Health undertook a range of workshops, publications, internet resources and relevant educational materials in the Pilot’s first stage.
During the second stage, pilot schools designed and implemented school-based activities according to pre-set health topics (fruit, balanced diet, vegetable, drink more water or regular diet), incorporating elements of physical activity promotion. Children were encouraged to practise healthy lifestyle habits through practical and lively learning activities. The project not only enabled schools to strengthen health messages in teaching activities, it also fostered home-school cooperation through educational resources. Together, these furthered the creation of a favourable home-school environment and culture to support healthy eating and active living in children.
Active collaboration and hard work among various parties have brought us to the third stage, when we now consolidate experience and disseminate good practices by means of this booklet and a DVD. This product will be of value in the promotion of children’s healthy lifestyle.
Lastly, a questionnaire survey involving principals, teachers, parents and meal arrangement/preparation staff was conducted to evaluate the pilot project. About 80% and 60% of the principals claimed that improvements in dietary habits and physical activity habits among students were noticed respectively, while about 70% of the parents had found that the dietary and physical activity habits of their children had improved after the Pilot Project. Those principals, teachers and parents participated in the pilot project were generally satisfied with the overall programme arrangements. To learn more about the evaluation results, please refer to the executive summary and full report.
[Web Accessible Version]