Healthy lifestyle program – PEACH – launches free online version
A new online version of QUT’s healthy lifestyle program – PEACH - will be offered to Queensland families with primary-school aged children from February 2016.
The online version of the Queensland Government-funded PEACH (Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health) program will be offered as an alternative format to face-to-face sessions and will feature 10 interactive sessions, a parent forum and ‘live-chats’.
Face-to-face sessions, meanwhile, begin during week three of the school term in Brisbane, Caboolture, Logan, Springfield Lakes, Ipswich, Redlands, the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Toowoomba and Cairns.
Professor Lynne Daniels, head of QUT’s School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and PEACH program director said the launch of PEACH Online meant families in rural and remote areas or those too busy to attend sessions could now access the program.
“The PEACH program is designed to help parents build confidence and skills to manage the factors that make eating well and being active as a family such a challenge,” Professor Daniels said.
“We’re thrilled to be expanding our reach to families who are seeking assistance with issues such as dealing with fussy eaters, reducing screen time and finding time for exercise.
“Parents who sign up will be joining an online community of other parents facing the same challenges and will be able to interact directly with our specially trained PEACH Online Facilitator.”
Since PEACH was launched in 2013 more than 700 Queensland families have taken part.
They include Dan Dryden and his family from Brisbane’s Westside who credits PEACH with changing their lives for the better.
“We went in thinking we’ve got to control our weight but what we got out of it was a more holistic view about a healthy lifestyle for the whole family,” Dan said.
“We’re very aware now that activity level goes hand in hand with screen time and so we’ve limited screen time.
“With eating, the big message we are trying to get through to both our kids is listen to your tummy – know when you are full.
“One of the biggest things is that the kids’ attitude toward being active has changed – there’s not a groan every time we talk about it. And, as parents, it’s about us enabling that activity and getting past the ‘too busy’ factor.”
The PEACH program’s face-to-face format runs for six months and consists of 10 group sessions that run for 90 minutes each. The first nine sessions are held weekly within the school term. Ongoing individualised family support is offered through the second half of the program ending with one final group session.
Topics covered include nutrition skills, parenting, relationships with food and eating, changing family lifestyle behaviours and making healthy eating affordable. While the parent sessions are taking place, children enjoy active play with a trained child physical activity facilitator.
“PEACH was first launched as a response to rising levels of childhood obesity in Queensland. An alarming 25 per cent of children are overweight or obese but the program is aimed at all families with a child in primary school,” Professor Daniels said.
“Facilitators also recognise that every family is different so try to tailor the program to suit their needs.”
Registrations for both PEACH and PEACH Online are now open.
For more information and to enrol in the program, contact free call 1800 263 519 or visit www.peachqld.com.au