Active Families is a free programme to help you and your children to get active and learn about healthy eating.
Active Family coordinators help your family to set goals and get involved in programmes with fun, physical activities that children and parents can enjoy together. You will meet other families and get healthy eating advice.
Why is it important for children to be active?
Regular exercise helps children to maintain a healthy weight and build strong muscles and bones. It protects their hearts and can help their mental health. Active children are healthier, stronger, more confident, do better in school and sleep better.
What does GRx Active Families offer?
- One-to-one family sessions with a coordinator.
- Weekly physical activity sessions.
- Dietitian and nutritionist support.
- Cooking sessions and healthy recipe ideas.
Who can access GRx Active Families?
The programme is available any child who:
- is school aged and would benefit from being more active
- could benefit from changes to their eating habits
- has a high BMI or a stable medical condition, and
- has the support of whanau/family.
Your child and family can be referred to the GRx Active Families programme by your doctor, practice nurse, paediatrician, dietitian, school nurse or community health nurse.
Or you can refer your family by phoning 0800 ACTIVE (22 84 83).
What does the GRx Active Families programme involve?
Most regions have regular group activity sessions. These are held at community centres and may include:
- information and education about health, well-being and physical activity
- physical activity and healthy eating advice, goal setting and review
- cooking demonstrations, label reading and supermarket tours
- a physical activity session – this might include:
- fitness circuits
- modified games
- water-based activities.
Children work as a group on individual goals and achievements, and get to meet and have fun with other children and families who are part of the programme.
If group sessions are not available in your area, your family will still receive support through face-to-face meetings and home visits.
Who provides the GRx Active Families programme?
The GRx Active Families programmes are provided by community organisations. Find the contact details for Active Families in your region.
What does GRx stand for?
GRx means a green prescription. A green prescription is your health professional’s written advice to you to encourage you to become more physically active.
Does it work?
Findings from a survey of the Active Families programme (1) released in April 2019 confirm:
Main survey points are:
- 85 percent of participants are more active since receiving their GRx
- 90 percent of families have made changes to their diets, mainly less sugary food and drink, eating fewer takeaways, more fruit and vegetables
- 99 percent are now more aware of and understand the benefits of physical activity
- 89 percent of participants have noticed health changes including: willingness to try new activities, more energy and confidence, weight loss and less medication.
- Satisfaction with the service (activity and nutrition sessions and home visits) is very high at 98 percent.
- Green Prescription Active Families Survey Report: May 2018 Ministry of Health, April 2019
- Active families Ministry of Health, 2017