A pregnant woman helps an older child cut vegetables in the kitchen.  When, what and how first foods are introduced is important.

Pregnancy a powerful time 

Pre-conception, pregnancy and the early years are key periods in which healthy lifestyle choices can positively influence a mother and child's life-long health.

Good nutrition and physical activity can help to reduce the risk of both the mother and child developing diseases later in life such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Some cancers.

The great news is that healthy eating and activity choices can be simple, affordable, and achievable for all cultures and family situations.

It's becoming more and more important for maternity and child health professionals to include discussions about healthy lifestyles in their work with mothers, infants, families and whanau.


Find out more about what this means for you

Girl running

New physical activity guidelines for
children and young people

The Ministry of Health has updated the physical activity guidelines for children and young people aged 5 - 17 years and included advice on sleep and screen time.

The guidelines have been updated in conjunction with Sport New Zealand and the Ministry of Education and expand on the original guidelines developed in 2007.

The updated guidelines include:

  • New sleep recommendations 
  • Advice on regular physical activity
  • Details on vigorous-intensity activities
  • Specifics about strengthening muscles and bones
  • Recommendations on maxium daily screen time.   

The updated guidelines will be followed by the first-ever set of New Zealand physical activity guidelines for under-fives, which will be released at the end of May 2017.

Find out more about the new guidelines, Sit Less, Move More, Sleep Well – Physical Activity Guidelines for Children and Young People here.

Healthy Start Workforce Project Registration Heading

The Healthy Start Workforce Project offers free-of-charge workforce development programmes.


Our education programme explores the role of good nutrition and physical activity during conception, pregnancy and infancy in reducing health risks later in life. 


Our Healthy Conversation Skills workshop enhances your skills to support clients to make lasting behaviour changes, especially in the area of nutrition and physical activity. 

Find out more:  



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