Nearly 90 adults and children attended the recent family activity event run by the NHS Western Isles’ Maternal and Infant Nutrition (MIN) group, in partnership with Pursuit Hebrides, to promote healthy lifestyle and diet information for families with young children.
The event, held at Stornoway Golf Club, featured staff from a range of NHS Western Isles services including health promotion, dietetics and nutrition, health visiting and Childsmile, and included a variety of specially designed games using fruit and vegetables where children could challenge their parents, grandparents or carers to a fun game or play against each other.
Through play, the children were able to learn about the variety of fruit and vegetables available, as well as about their recommended consumption of “five a day”, with one of the parents noting how good it was to see children playing and having fun without the use of technology.
A range of games were available for children to enjoy including giant ‘Snakes and Ladders’. This fun game enabled children to rise up the ladder if they landed on a square which said, for example, that they had eaten fruit for breakfast; or they had to slither back down the squares if they chose cake over fruit at lunchtime.
Another localised game ‘Fruit Twister’, had adults and children contorting to get their hands and feet on a variety of fruit circles. Children could also play ‘Food Snap’, where they had to match fruit or vegetable cards, or “Bigger or Smaller” where they had to guess if the fruit or veg under the next bowl was bigger or smaller.
Other activities included throwing challenges, fruit bowling and an art corner, all of which proved highly popular.
Emelin Collier, NHS Western Isles Child Health Commissioner, commented: “This was a hectic but enjoyable fun day for our younger local children and their families.
“It has been an opportunity to get across positive health messages to children and their families while engaging in activities which stretched them physically and mentally. We were delighted with the response from parents in terms of the numbers who attended, the duration in which families took part and those who supported and encouraged the children to take part in all of the activities offered.”
An information stand promoting the Healthy Start voucher and vitamin scheme was also available at the event to promote the availability of free food vouchers to pregnant women or parents of children under four years if they are receiving certain benefits, and for all pregnant women under 18 years of age.
With small prizes for game winners and a sparkly photo booth available for children and adults alike, with a prize for the best costume and pose, the event was hailed by all as a success and is hoped to be an annual fixture.
An album showcasing some of the best photos of the day can be accessed through the Health Information & Resources page on Facebook (HIRS Western Isles).