Changing lives with food and play

Parents and professionals across Australia are teaming up to help children eat healthy food and enjoy active play, with life-changing results.

When children develop healthy eating and physical activity habits in their early years, they have a greater chance of realising their full potential – today and for life.

Every year, more professionals with a shared goal of making lives better are learning how to use the Confident and Understanding Parents (CUPs) approach with parents, to support children’s healthy eating and active play.

Parents, playgroup leaders, and early childhood educators are together creating a groundswell of enduring positive impact, especially in families at risk of vulnerability.

They each have exciting stories to tell – here’s a little taster of what people in our CUPs community are saying:

  • I’ve changed everything.” -Parent
  • “Parents asked me questions about their child’s eating and I had the confidence to answer.” -Playgroup leader
  • He’s never eaten that before.” -Parent
  • “We need these resources. They’re simple and effective for parents.” -Early childhood nurse
  • “When she’s active, she eats better and sleeps better. It becomes part of the routine.” -Parent
  • I really like the way it’s designed and the information. I think having a message every week helps us to focus on our families’ needs. This is one of the best projects I’ve worked with.” -Playgroup leader

Families tell professionals of exciting and often profound changes that they’re making at home.

Trying lots more fruit and vegetables, feeling confident feeding their child, giving their child water in a cup, cutting back on screen time to improve their child’s concentration and sleep, and eating family food together are just some examples.

Professionals have seen families bringing a wider variety of fruit for snack time, and bringing vegetables for the first time. They’re also noticing parents encouraging their children to try foods and talking about healthy eating together.

Children have loved ‘eating a rainbow’ of fruit and vegetables, ticking off a checklist when they’ve at least given them a try.

With over ten years of research and co-design shaping CUPs, we’re proud to now be partnering with Save the Children to deliver the approach in eight locations across New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria.

Are you interested in using the CUPs approach in your work with, or for families? We’d love to hear from you!

Please contact Judith Myers at or visit our website for a closer look at this transformative approach.


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