Children had a hearty time at Kew Pacific Island Learning Centre in Invercargill yesterday.
As a way to celebrate the 20th year of the Healthy Heart Award programme, the children and staff members got a visit from the Heart Foundation’s mascot, Hearty.
There were plenty of excited shrieks, hugs and high-fives from the children.
The programme aims to improve nutrition and increase physical activity in learning services across the country.
Kew Pacific Island Learning Centre is one of the centres which joined the programme and has a nutrition adviser.
Centre manager Rebecca Fa’alologo-Robertson said the nutritionist had helped with guidelines, advice, menus and resources, which had led to a long-term dedication to maintaining a healthy environment.
The centre had been involved with the programme since 2005, she said.
“As a centre we have really enjoyed promoting healthy choices for food, nutrition and exercise for our tamariki and their whanau.”
The changes which had been made to its healthy eating and physical activity policies were great, she said.
Through the programme, the Heart Foundation works with more than 600 early learning services and has helped about 40,000 children.