When it comes to helping children to flourish, Sanitarium Health Food Company is advocating a simpler, more wholistic approach.
In early February 2019, Sanitarium launched a campaign aimed at helping children reach their potential, based on a report by the University of Notre Dame Australia. It promotes a wholistic view in tackling rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and mental health issues.
“It’s not about ‘quick fix solutions’ but rather going back to basics,” said University of Notre Dame dean of medicine Christine Bennett, who led the research team that developed the Little People, Big Lives Report.
“Active play, good sleep, limiting screen time, love and care are all vital to a child’s positive self-worth and social connection.”
Commissioned by Sanitarium, the report examined the foundations needed for children to reach their physical, social, and emotional potential and flourish in life. It is split into five essential action areas: Safety, Security, Love, and Belonging; Healthy Eating and Drinking; Active Play; Healthy Sleep; and Positive Screen Time.
“Spending time without technology — making time to eat together as a family, as well as play, sing, dance, and read are all critical to childhood,” Bennett said. “I think many parents will be interested to know these simple activities have the potential to be powerful contributors to their child’s physical health and emotional wellbeing.”
Sanitarium has enlisted Australian media personality and mom Ada Nicodemou as ambassador for the “Little People, Big Lives” campaign, which will include articles and videos giving advice and stories on how everyday moms and dads are helping their children live their best lives.
“I’m the first to admit family life is incredibly busy; that’s why the practical recommendations in this report resonate with me,” Nicodemou said. “It’s the little things like family dinners, playing in the backyard, and one-on-one conversations before bedtime that set up our kids for a lifetime of good physical and mental health.”
Sanitarium Australia and New Zealand executive general manager Todd Saunders said the report examined the latest evidence-based recommendations for optimal child development. “We want the principles in this report to help every family enhance their day-to-day lifestyle and to spark a vital conversation about what is really important, including the little things that can make a big difference to lifetime health outcomes,” he wrote in a foreword to the report.