Active Families and Whanau

Healthy eating and daily activity should be considered an essential part of a healthy lifestyle for all children and adolescents.

You can be a role model for your child to support healthy lifestyle behaviours and physical activity, and encourage your children to choose a physical activity they enjoy.

Easy low cost ways to be an active family
Family Game

Being active doesn’t have to be expensive! Be creative, have fun and try to build activity into all of your day-to-day activities.

Learn about Department of Conservation walks for families in Canterbury [PDF].

Christchurch Mums is an online place to get mums connected with each other and keep them up to date on

things to do with kids in Christchurch.
Check out the 20 free things to do in Christchurch with kids.

Visit the new My Family website for more activity suggestions (Health Promotion Agency).

Find family-friendly activities in your area with the Activity Search.

Find out about parks, playgrounds and swimming pools in our region.

Give an event a go!

Find out about fun and family friendly events.

You can also check out these websites for local community and sports events:

Gifts that encourage physical activity

Children love to run, jump, crawl, shoot, bounce and generally play outdoors, and there are some great toys available to make this time extra fun.

It's easy and affordable to make Christmas and birthdays gifts active ones - simply fill stockings with things like kites, balls, frisbees, water pistols and skipping ropes.

Get ideas on some outdoor toys for hours of fun (Kiwi Families).

Get ideas for outdoor play equipment for your family (Kiwi Families).

Help children choose active and healthy choices

Here are some suggestions for parents and caregivers to encourage children to be more active and make healthy food choices:

  1. Keep TVs and other electronic entertainment devices in communal family areas rather than in children's bedrooms.
  2. Turn the TV off before family dinners and eat family meals together daily.
  3. Introduce rules regarding children's screen time (e.g. not during meals, set TV-free times).
  4. Involve children in providing family meals including meal planning, shopping and food preparation.
  5. Use rewards other than unhealthy foods or screen-based entertainment to promote good behaviour.
  6. Eat breakfast – this research shows children are more likely to eat the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetable if their parents eat breakfast
  7. Encourage physical activity, e.g. keep sporting equipment near the back door rather than packed away in cupboards
  8. Model healthy lifestyle behaviours and support children’s physical activity; encourage children to choose a physical activity they enjoy
  9. Use active transport such as walking or riding whenever possible, e.g. short trips to buy milk, walking or cycling to school
  10. Support independent play and travel; and encourage children to have unstructured physical activity and play alongside organised physical activity and sport.