Munch & Move Orientation Board
The main idea
Frederick Street Kindy developed the Munch & Move orientation board which was displayed during preschool orientation. The board featured photos and text which introduced parents to the Munch & Move program and its five key messages.
Frederick Street Kindy is located in an area that is home to many different cultural groups. As such, visual displays have been found to be an effective way of overcoming language barriers with families from non-English speaking communities.
What did the idea involve?
The orientation board outlined the Munch & Move program and contained information gleaned from the manual. The Munch & Move orientation board provided examples of foods to bring and foods not to bring to preschool, as well as promoting water as the drink of choice.
Images of ‘everyday’ and ‘sometimes’ foods were found through an internet search, printed and then laminated using laminating pouches costing $24.95. Photographs were taken of children’s healthy lunches and displayed on the photo board under the title ‘Lunchbox of the Week’. Children were also photographed eating fruit and other nutritious snacks and their photos were displayed on the board.
The size of the poster and the use of colour and images increased the appeal of the board and captured parent’s attention.
The Munch & Move orientation board informed parents about Frederick Street’s healthy food and drink policies and gave parents the opportunity to learn about which foods were encouraged and which were discouraged. The orientation board also helped parents understand what was expected of both the centre and of themselves.
Staff reported that children were excited to see images of themselves on the board, as were their parents. Staff found that the photo board provided a great example of healthy food choices to both children and parents and was an excellent way to reinforce healthy food with the children.
The children at Frederick Street Kindy were eager to have their lunchbox on display. Staff reported that children often advised their parents about healthy foods to take to preschool. The ‘Lunchbox of the Week’ photos provided practical examples of what a healthy lunchbox looked like.
Comments and tips
In a busy centre, it was a challenge to find the time each week to take photos, print and display the ‘Lunchbox of the Week’. However, regardless of whether visual materials were available, lunchboxes were always discussed informally during lunchtimes with healthy options positively reinforced by staff members.
It is helpful to consider the characteristics of the community to ensure that any resources used are culturally appropriate. Visuals were found to be very effective for this preschool and meant that the activities included all the children and their families.
Creative thinking is required, particularly when coming up with ideas for displays and ways to communicate with families. Novel ideas are often the most noticed!
The location of the board needed to be changed regularly so that it continued to be noticed.
The experience of Frederick Street Kindy is that the children are the key to informing the parents. As one staff member noted “By getting the children involved in experiences, you’re also communicating to the parents and families".