Letters to the editor

February 16, 2018

Katunga South students get active during Walk to School Day last year.

Make healthy changes

- Jerril Rechter, chief executive, VicHealth

The start of a new school year is a great time to build healthy habits for your family.

Helping our children to get active is critical for their health and wellbeing — we know that two-thirds of children are not getting the physical activity they need to be healthy.

As your children start school for the year, it’s a fantastic opportunity to help them get more physical activity into their day by walking, riding or scooting to and from school.

We know that Victorian children love walking to school — during our Walk to School program last year, 140000 youngsters across the state took part and walked, rode and scooted more than 1.6 million kilometres to and from school. That’s the same as two return trips to the moon.

With the warm weather and energy from their summer holidays, it’s a great time to continue walking, riding or scooting to and from school.

Even walking part-way can make a real difference, so try parking a few streets away from school and walking the rest if the whole way is too far.

Another way to help boost children’s health is to pack their lunchboxes with fresh, healthy food.

New research from the Heart Foundation shows that typical ‘‘go-to’’ school lunchbox options, such as a ham and cheese sandwich can deliver more than half of a child’s entire recommended daily salt intake.

Instead try roast chicken and avocado on multigrain bread, or an egg and avocado sandwich, as both contain less than a gram of salt.

We also know that many kids’ snacks contain excessive amounts of sugar, fat and salt, so try swapping foods such as biscuits, chips and juice boxes for vegetable sticks, nuts, fruit and water.

Making little changes can make a big difference to your family’s health.

For more healthy tips, visit www.vichealth.vic.gov.au

Arms control crucial

- Jiri Kolenaty, Rushworth

Different people tend to view and interpret life in different ways.

Some of the interpretations may be better than others, but none of them is perfect.

Individuals, who have similar views or backgrounds, tend to join into groups.

They believe that their views are best and trying to enforce them on other people.

This can lead to friction and animosity between different races, nations, social classes and religions.

We are being dominated by natural instincts and animal-like fighting has been going on since the beginning of human race.

The civilisation is only skin deep and weapons are becoming more sophisticated and destructive.

We have to produce arms for our protection, but keep them under control.

If they get in wrong hands, they can cause great loss of human lives.

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