Check out our nutrition resources.

Children need to eat well to learn well

"Teachers report improvement in attendance, attention, behaviour, and levels of concentration in schools and early childhood education services where healthy eating has become accepted practice".[1]

Food and drink are the building blocks for the physical growth of our tamariki and rangatahi, and they are also building blocks for brain function and from that, skill development.  Good nutrition is fundamental for overall wellbeing and oral health (see Oral Health section).

Healthy eating/eating well improves behaviour and concentration leading to greater opportunities to learn (children need to eat well to learn well).

Children and young people spend more time at education settings than any other environment when away from home and consume around 1/3 of their daily energy intake while there.

Time Diagram



 Healthy Choice


What WAVE can do

  • Support education settings to promote and provide healthy food and beverages
  • Develop and support initiatives which promote healthy eating, including edible gardens and healthy fundraisers
  • Incorporate healthy eating into the curriculum
  • Support education settings to get feedback from their community and engage with whānau, about food and drink in the education setting
  • Support settings to develop/review food and drink guidelines/policies and support to put these into practice.
  • Provide professional development tailored to support your settings' programmes, eg, water and milk-only; healthy fundraisers for PTA; others as identified with education setting.

Check out this video on how WAVE and Rural Scholars Early Learning Centre worked together to incorporate nutrition into their celebration activities.


Healthy Events & Fundraisers Guide

See our Healthy Events & Fundraisers Guide for sample food and nutrition policies for events and education settings and ideas for healthy prizes, kai, and healthy fundraisers.

 HealthyEvents&FundraisersGuideFront Healthy Events & Fundraisers Guide


Water-Only Schools Toolkit

Book in to meet with your WAVE facilitator review or develop your schools water and milk-only plan. Contact your WAVE Facilitator for more information.

By adopting a water-only policy, whereby water and low-fat plain milk are the only drinks available at your school, you are taking a positive step towards improving the health and wellbeing of your students.

Water and Milk Only Toolkit Cover Water-Only Schools Toolkit


Healthy Eating Pages

View and download our Healthy Eating and Nibbles pages for great ideas for nibbles and snacks in Adobe Acrobat pdf format.


See what others are doing in South Canterbury:

See examples from Makikihi Primary School, Ranui Kindergarten and Oceanview Heights Primary School on their Healthy Eating Programmes and initiatives and how they engaged whānau around their health eating work.

Makikihi Healthy Eating


Useful links and downloads

We have various toolkits, programmes and useful links that you can access to help with your investigation into Nutrition and Health Eating.