Maidstone United Soccer Club has kickstarted its healthy food efforts by joining Vic Kids Eat Well, an exciting new healthy food and drink movement that supports Victorian kids to grow, learn and be active.
Maidstone United is the first sporting club in the City of Maribyrnong to join Vic Kids Eat Well and is being supported by community health service, cohealth.
Former Socceroo and Melbourne Victory player, Archie Thompson, thrilled budding soccer stars and their parents with his insights into healthy eating and sports at the club’s Vic Kids Eat Well launch event on Thursday night.
Vic Kids Eat Well supports sports clubs, schools, out-of-school hours care and community organisations to boost healthy food and drink options to give every child the healthy start they deserve.
This initiative is supported by the Victorian Government and delivered by Cancer Council Victoria’s Achievement Program, in partnership with Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service.
Junior Club President, Marlon Pereira, said Maidstone United SC is committed to promoting health and wellbeing for its members, including players, their families, coaches and volunteers alike.
“We’re delighted that an elite player like Archie Thompson could join us for our club dinner and share his insights into healthy eating and on-field performance,” Mr Pereira said.
“Our club is more than a sports club, it’s a community. By offering healthier food and drink options at games and our regular weekly dinner, we can promote positive health and wellbeing to all our members.
“We’re a very inclusive club and welcome players of all ages, genders, abilities and cultural backgrounds. The simple steps and healthy swaps that we can do with Vic Kids Eat Well fits the bill perfectly and will help fuel our kids to be their best on and off the sporting field.
“Our fresh food game-day spit that’s served with salad is proving very popular.”
Zoe Cetinich, Health Promotion Officer at community health service, cohealth is supporting the club’s Vic Kids Eat Well efforts.
“cohealth is looking forward to helping Maidstone United SC kick some healthy eating goals as it progresses through Vic Kids Eat Well,” Ms Cetinich said.
“They’ve already made some healthy changes that include saying goodbye to the deep fryer and changing up the menu for weekly dinners with healthy meals that celebrate the club’s diverse culture.
“I’m also working with them to reduce sugary drinks sold in their canteen and promote water as the ultimate sports drink. Working with the club provides an opportunity to educate junior players about the importance of hydration and nutrition for sport and give them the confidence to opt for healthier food and drinks.”
Ms Cetinich said Vic Kids Eat Well aligns beautifully with cohealth’s efforts to improve health outcomes and tackle health inequity in partnership with the community.
Tope Adepoyibi, Head of Achievement Program at Cancer Council Victoria, said Vic Kids Eat Well supports community organisations like Maidstone United Soccer Club to adopt simple changes that help kids to lead healthy, active lives.
“We all want our kids to attend school, out of school care or play sport free from unhealthy foods and sugary drinks. Tasty, nourishing foods help fuel kids’ concentration, improve mood and boost energy to play sports like soccer,” Ms Adepoyibi said.
“Working with their expert local health promoter, community organisations are supported to take small, achievable steps at their own pace and celebrate milestones along the way. This free program harnesses the power of community to build the next generation of happy, healthy kids.”
Learn more or join Vic Kids Eat Well at vickidseatwell.health.vic.gov.au.