We are more than half way in to 2018 and I wonder how many of us that made New Year’s resolutions have kept up with them? The most common resolutions tend to be indefinite goals to lose weight, eat healthier and incorporate a fitter lifestyle.
We all have our personal stumbling blocks when it comes to sticking to our goals; ‘I’m too busy at work’, ‘It’s so inconvenient to head to the gym’ or ‘I haven’t got time to eat healthy’ – sounds familiar? Yet there are those among us that have stuck with it and are making changes to develop healthy habits.
Earlier this week, I paid a visit to Genius Hive Preschool (Genius Hive) in the Central Business District (CBD) of Singapore as part of ActiveSG and FrieslandCampina AMEA's Nurture Kids initiatives. I was thoroughly impressed by these pre-school children’s dedication to maintaining the good habits they started in the new year by staying active and eating healthy.
The conversations and time spent at the kindergarten made me realise that most kindergartens in the CBD are indoors due to space constraints and that would mean they have limited amount of physical education incorporated into their curriculum.
Indoors, kids were only exposed to low-energy games. Enabling these children to stay active and eat healthy in the CBD where space is scarce requires creativity.
Children at Genius Hive playing games to strengthen their Fundamental Movement skills. Photo: FrieslandCampina
However, Genius Hive was dedicated to make a difference. ActiveSG has partnered with the school to come up with a weekly interactive curriculum to strengthen the child’s Fundamental Movement skills such as locomotor skills, object control and stability skills for K1 and K2 students. As children from age four to six start developing lifestyle habits, it’s important for organisations like ActiveSG and preschools to build awareness in their health and nutrition.
Nurture Kids is aligned with the government’s renewed focus on the young in Singapore, as studies have shown that dietary habits of children are formed well before the age of five.
The pre-schoolers are taught to adopt ‘Active Health Habits’, focusing on the areas of nutrition, digital screen time, sleep and physical activity. With professional coachers from ActiveSG, the preschool children had so much fun throwing and catching balls while learning about nutrition through workshops with storytelling and games. Along with the professionals from ActiveSG, the teachers play an integral role in educating pre-school students on the importance of high fitness levels and a balanced diet on an everyday basis. Through the Train the Trainers programme in Nurture Kids, teachers are equipped with the right skills. In order to benefit more kids, Genius Hive took the initiative and extended the programme to nursery levels, incorporating it in their school curriculum as well. Kudos to the Principal and teachers to go the extra mile!
Children taking part in fun physical activities held by the kindergarten, under the Nurture Kids programme, at The Lawn @ Marina Bay. Photo: FrieslandCampina
I am honoured and proud to have been be part of the Nurture Kids programme from the get go, instilling the right mindset of a healthy lifestyle and diet in children. It is fundamental to start to shape and encourage good behaviour and habits at a young age.
Our partnership with ActiveSG has enhanced the programme, demonstrating the importance of working together to overcome the hurdles of our generation and the future generations to come. Truly, nothing is impossible as long as we are committed and passionate in making a change.
The afternoon well spent at Genius Hive makes me want to head home and bring my kids out for a fun time at the park!
For the rest of us, if you haven’t started keeping fit, it’s never too late to start now!
Nurture Kids, launched in 2017, is a partnership between ActiveSG, Singapore’s national movement for sports and physical activity, and my organisation, FrieslandCampina Asia. The programme is focused on fitness and nutrition for pre-schoolers, aged four to six, and aims to equip preschool children with a strong foundation in health, nutrition and exercise.
This article was contributed by Ada Wong, Head of Public Affairs and Communications, FrieslandCampina AMEA