Happy tummies, healthy lives

Community hubs at three primary schools in Hume have celebrated a pilot program of weekly breakfasts to families.

Hume Mayor, Councillor Helen Patsikatheodorou, said Healthy Start has run across the past four months.

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and children who start school with a happy tummy can achieve so much,” Cr Patsikatheodorou said.

“The Healthy Start menu has included cereal, toast, eggs and fruit, and has been designed to give youngsters a nutritious boost before they embark on a day of classes.”

The initiative has been made possible through a generous donation by KS Environmental, a waste management company that services businesses.

Healthy Start has been offered at St Dominic’s Primary School and Meadows Primary School in Broadmeadows, as well as Bethal Primary School in Meadow Heights.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said the breakfasts delivered more than just great food.

“We wanted to help children to develop healthy eating habits, because routines that are formed at a young age can last a lifetime,” she said.

“The morning meal has also been a great chance for parents who have recently migrated to Australia to get to know others in their neighbourhood.

“Parents volunteered at the breakfasts and utilised the program to gain skills in food preparation.

“We hope Healthy Start has prepared some parents for a course in hospitality, which is offered at community hubs to people who are interested in a job within the food industry.”

Hume City Council’s community hubs commenced in 2006 to help recently-arrived parents of young children become more established in Australia.

The hubs offer playgroups and English-language programs, and connect parents to agencies that provide education, health and settlement services.

Cr Patsikatheodorou said the hubs had been a huge success.

“Council supports community hubs in 12 primary schools, and the concept has spread to many other areas of Australia,” she said.

“We understand that it can be difficult for people who have just moved to Australia, particularly if they speak little English and are yet to secure employment.

“Hume has based each community hub in the familiar setting of a primary school, and this helps us to assist families in a familiar and friendly environment.”

Residents in Hume come from more than 166 different countries and speak approximately 140 languages.

For further information about Hume’s community hubs, visit here.

Posted on 12:00 AM, 8 December 2015

Updated : 12:36 PM, 8 December 2015

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