As parents, we naturally want the best for our children and for them to grow up strong and healthy. But what exactly constitutes a healthy child? It’s actually more than just having a strong immune system and not falling ill often.
What is NutureSG?
The NurtureSG Taskforce has developed a holistic suite of recommendations to enhance the health outcomes among our children and youth, with focus on the key areas of physical activity
, mental well-being, and sleep health.
The NurtureSG Taskforce has developed a holistic suite of recommendations to enhance the health outcomes among our children and youth. Photo: Shutterstock
Co-led by Minister of State for Health Dr Lam Pin Min and Minister of State for Education Dr Janil Puthucheary, NurtureSG aims to foster healthy habits from young, by equipping our children and youth with the skills and knowledge to embrace healthy living and improve their health outcomes.
The NurtureSG recommendations aim to deepen and strengthen health promotion from pre-schools to Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs). In addition, they seek to extend health promotion beyond schools to homes and the community.
Benefits of an active child
There are many benefits to getting your child to take up an active lifestyle from a young age. A child who lives an active lifestyle is more likely to carry forward the healthy lifestyle habits to adulthood.
Principal of ActiveSG Football Academy, Aleksandar Duric, overseeing a training session. Photo: Sport Singapore
Sport provides many opportunities for a child to develop their mental wellbeing. Participating in sport can encourage the child to build resilience in overcoming challenges. With resilience, the child is more likely to take a more positive outlook when a problem arises, with the child more likely to look for solutions to the problem rather than giving up.
Participating in team sports help children to develop social skills and the ability to communicate with their peers. Good social skills and having the ability to make friends can greatly contribute to the well-being of the child.
Being part of a team also provides an informal support network of peers and coaches who can provide a listening ear and extend a helping help to a child in need.
What can I do as a parent to help my child stay active?
ActiveSG currently has various programmes
for children and youth to participate in sport and physical activity.
ActiveSG organises many programmes throughout the year. These programmes are affordable and easily accessible at our Sports Centres
located across the island.
Our school holiday programmes
which include specially designed parent-child and family bonding activities are extremely popular.
Participants from the ActiveSG Tennis Academy. Photo: Sport Singapore
ActiveSG Outdoor Adventure Club. Photo: Sport Singapore
ActiveSG will roll out more sport-specific Academies/Clubs in 2017. We will continue expanding our programmes to encourage wider participation and provide more pathways for children and youth to stay engaged in sports.
Mental well-being is just as important
Being part of a team provides an informal support network of peers and coaches who can provide a listening ear and extend a helping help to a child in need. Photo: Sport Singapore
Apart from physical health, mental well-being is important in enabling our youth to manage stress well and lead meaningful lives. In addition to the extensive set of programmes and measures NurtureSG currently has to promote the mental health of our students, the NurtureSG Taskforce recognises that students experiencing mental stress may not always approach their parents or teachers for help. MOE and HPB will strengthen peer support efforts through the establishment of peer support structures in mainstream schools and IHLs to equip students to look out for signs of mental stress among their peers.
Sleep Well, Live Well
Insufficient sleep in children is associated with impaired cognition, obesity and increased risk of mental health issues such as increased irritability, moodiness, depression and anxiety. To raise awareness of the importance of adequate and quality sleep in children, HPB will educate the public on its benefits, and promote sleep health recommendations and tips for healthy sleep habits. MOE will also strengthen sleep health messages and good practice as part of educating students for health.
In line with Vision 2030
, we believe that a strong nation is one made up of healthy, resilient and united citizens. And we see sport as key vehicle to help meet this objectives.
We are currently collaborating with many public agencies, companies from the private sector and partners from various community groups. We look forward to further these partnerships through NurtureSG and other national efforts to help serve the interests of the nation and to create an active, healthy, happy and successful Singapore for years to come.