Case Studies

Walking the talk at Brooklands Kindergarten

brooklands kindy

Brooklands Kindergarten is committed to arming their tamariki with healthy and positive lifestyle habits to ensure they have the best possible start in life.

The Kindergarten was recently awarded a well-deserved gold Pa-Harakeke Healthy Heart Award from the Heart Foundation, in recognition of its effort to improve the health and wellbeing of children.  

Heart Foundation Nutrition Advisor, Kim Pennington, says this was a great testament to the culture the kindergarten had created around healthy eating and physical activity, and they really are walking the talk.

“Their energy and passion for healthy living is commendable. Healthy eating and physical activity have been woven into everyday practice at Brooklands Kindergarten,” says Kim.

“It’s been a pleasure supporting Brooklands Kindergarten to gain their Healthy Heart Award. They are whole heartedly committed to creating a positive environment around healthy eating and physical activity.”

The kindergarten updated their celebration practice, lunchbox guidelines and provided more opportunities for tamariki to learn about the new raised vegetable and fruit gardens. This empowered and educated the children and whānau on the foods they need every day to be healthy. As a kindergarten, walking the talk and role modelling healthy eating and physical activity was integral to the success of both the children and the wider community.

Head Teacher Andy Lines says, “We are proud at Brooklands Kindergarten to say we advocate and promote healthy kai and bodies. Achieving the Healthy Heart Award was an exciting journey for all tamariki, whānau and kaiako, full of knowledge and awakenings”.

As part of Brooklands Kindergarten’s journey to achieve its award, the centre focused on active movement and keeping students’ bodies healthy. One of the ways they made this happen was through music and movement.

“The students have Whaea Rea visit every second week, to teach our tamariki Kapa Haka and a waiata. It’s optional to join, but most weeks we have a lot of tamariki ready and excited, as they see Whaea Rae coming in the gate. She is a warm nana figure to the tamariki, and they enjoy her visits immensely,” says Andy.

“We attended Puanga for the first time and sung on stage in front of a big audience. This was an amazing event to be a part of and a real confidence boost for our tamariki. They were so proud to be representing Brooklands Kindergarten and singing their waiata. Now it will become an annual event.

“Kapa Haka experiences have been great for our tamariki’s creative expression, body awareness, hand eye co-ordination, spatial awareness, ability to work as a group, language development, confidence, expression of culture & identity, and lastly integrates physical skills learning,” says Andy.


brooklands kindy 1

Feeding guidelines for children aged 0-1 year

feeding guide 0 to 1 year

 This is a brief overview only. For more information, refer to the Ministry of Health's background paper Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Infants and Toddlers (Aged 0-2).

Optimal nutrition is probably more important during this time of life than at any other time because of its effect on the infant's brain growth and development of the nervous system, their overall growth and development and future health.
Children aged 0-6 months
Until the infant is around 6 months old, breast milk or formula will supply all the nutrients they need. Breastfeeding provides ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants and toddlers. If the infant is not breastfed, an infant formula should be used until the baby is one year old.
Introducing complementary foods
When the infant is ready, appropriate complementary food should be introduced and breastfeeding continued. Developmental cues should be used to determine if the infant is ready to receive complementary foods. From 6 months old, energy and nutrient needs cannot be met by milk alone and the baby is developmentally ready for new tastes and textures.
Cues that the baby is ready for complementary foods:
• They hold their head up.
• Their mouth opens easily when the spoon touches their lips.
• They make chewing movements.
• They have any increasing demand for feeds.
• Their appetite is clearly not satisfied after finishing the milk feed.

Risks of introducing complementary foods before 4 months:
• Many mothers want to get their baby onto complementary foods as early as possible. Doing this before the baby is developmentally ready is not recommended for a variety of reasons:
• The baby's digestive system may not be physically ready to cope with solids.
• The baby may not have the chewing and swallowing skills needed.
• The baby may be overfed and gain too much weight.
• The protein and salt content of food may place stress on the kidneys.
• The baby's risk of developing food allergies, eczema, asthma, iron deficiency, respiratory disease and diarrhoea may be increased.

When introducing complementary foods:
Start with smooth textures then increase thickness of foods and add lumps.
Increase the variety of foods offered - the more new flavours you can introduce now, the less fussy children are likely to be later on.
Remember, new foods are rejected on average 12 times; keep trying!
Do not add salt, soy sauce, sugar, honey, cream, butter or margarine or artificial sweeteners to foods. Infants have more sensitive taste buds than adults and do not need added flavours.
Infants should be offered many of the foods that cause allergies early to prevent the development of an allergy (unless they already have an identified food allergy). The foods to introduce before 12 months include peanuts (smooth peanut butter), tree nuts, cooked egg, dairy, wheat products and fish.
Visit for more information.

Order for introducing complementary foods and progressing to family foods
The infant can hold up their head, is able to use their tongue to move food and shows signs of chewing movements (around 6 months of age)
Introduce new foods one at a time. Start with thin purées and gradually thicken consistency as tolerated; introduce new flavours.
Suggested foods:
• iron-fortified infant rice, followed by other age-appropriate infant cereals; rice, congee, cassava or tapioca or sago
• cooked and puréed apple, pear, apricot, peach, plum, melon, mango, pawpaw (all without skins, pips or seeds)
• mashed ripe banana and avocado
• cooked and puréed potato, kūmara, taro, pumpkin, carrot, kamokamo (marrow), parsnip, yam, courgette, green bean, broccoli, taro leaf, pele leaf, pūhā, silverbeet, spinach, cauliflower (all without skins, pips or seeds)
• cooked and puréed meat (for example, beef, lamb, pork or chicken)
• cooked and puréed beans, lentils, and legumes
• cooked and mashed egg
• age-appropriate commercial infant foods.

The infant can sit, is interested in finger foods and is learning to chew and bite; some teeth are present (around 7-8 months of age)
Serve some food as finger food.
Suggested foods:
• all types of food listed above
• cooked and puréed meat and chicken
• mashed vegetables and fruit (no need to purée)
• cow's milk, used in cooking
• cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese, custard
• infant cereal
• well-cooked pasta and noodles
• bread, rēwena bread, steamed plain cake (mantou), steamed dumplings and buns, rusks, crackers, rice crackers
• age-appropriate commercial infant foods.

The infant is interested in an extended range of food and varied texture and in self-feeding, is able to use a feeding cup and eat independently with some assistance, has good chewing and biting and is able to chew lumps (around 8-12 months of age).
Offer an increasing variety of foods, presented in different sizes and textures. Discovering, handling and chewing food assists the development of social skills and promotes the pleasure of eating.
Suggested foods:
• all types of foods listed above
• kai moana (seafood, shellfish and seaweed) for example, fish, kina, pipi, kōura (crayfish) pūpū (periwinkles), parengo (seaweed), pāua, eel
• soy foods, such as soy milk in cooking, tofu, tempeh, soy yoghurt, soy custard
• green peas, cabbage, creamed corn and tomatoes (raw or cooked)
• salad vegetables
• orange, kiwifruit, pineapple, berry fruit
• breakfast cereals for example porridge, wheat biscuits, infant muesli
• peanut butter (smooth)
• age-appropriate commercial foods

The infant is using a spoon with varied degree of success, is now able to eat family foods chopped up, including meat, and enjoys many flavours and textures (1 years of age or older)
Continue breastfeeding and introduce cow's milk to drink instead of formula.
Suggested foods:
• all foods listed above
• wholegrain breads
• plain, pasteurised whole milk, soy milks with calcium



Food safety advice for feeding infants and toddlers

hand washing

  • Always thoroughly wash and dry your hands with soap and water before cleaning and sterilising bottles and feeding equipment.
  • Make sure the area used to clean and sterilise your baby's bottle and feeding equipment is clean.
  • Sterilise all bottles, teats and equipment for infants up to the age of 3 months. Boil bottles and teats or use an appropriate sterilising solution and follow the manufacturer's directions for use.
  • Equipment can be sterilised with sterilising solutions, boiling water or a steam sterilising unit designed for use in a microwave. A dishwasher will not sterilise equipment. If sterilising in boiling water, the equipment should be thoroughly washed in soapy water after each use and then submerged in boiling water for five minutes.
  • Wash hands and use a clean towel before preparing an infant's food or feeding an infant.
  • Wash all babies' utensils in hot soapy water, rinse well in hot water and dry with a clean tea towel or in a dishwasher.
  • Only take out of the refrigerator or freezer sufficient food to feed the infant at one feed time.
  • Avoid leaving any infant food sitting at room temperature for any length of time.
  • Throw out any food the infant has not eaten at the end of the meal. It may be harmful to the infant to reuse food where there has been an opportunity for harmful bacteria to grow on the food.
  • Most commercial infant foods and home-prepared infant foods can be kept in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 48hrs. Read and follow any instructions on the packaging.