It's no secret that despite our clean, green image and myriad of sporting successes New Zealand's children (and adults) are far from the healthiest they can be.
Unicef's latest The State of the World's Children report ranked us second-worst in the OECD for childhood obesity, with 39 per cent of our 5 - 19-year-olds overweight or obese.
This rating sees us just behind the United States and it is an issue we need to address without subjecting our kids to the toxic diet culture we grew up with.
But how do we do this? Firstly, we need to keep it simple. Give your kids choices and talk about how healthy food and moving your body makes you feel – not about how it makes the scale move or their bodies look.
With the days shorter and the inclination to hunker indoors creeping up, we've rounded up some ways to keep active and stay healthy this winter, and better still, none of them cost a dime.
1. Never talk about food as good or bad – talk about how it makes you feel. Try choosing a new recipe to cook with your kids each week and have fun trying new vegetables together.
Top tip: Give them a choice, select two recipes per week and let them decide which one they want to make – do you want broccoli or bok choy goes down much better than "eat your greens" - there are plenty of yummy options online from places like Healthy Kids.
2. Head to the hills. Jump on to Epic Little Missions or your local council site to get involved in an easy loop walk that sees you channelling your inner Scout leader.
3. Runner beans of all ages can get involved at the weekly Park Runs held all across New Zealand. Just sign up online, print your barcode and time trial your way to fitness on the 5km fun runs – or walks! Couch to 5km here we come.
4. Talk your kid's teacher into signing up to the Zespri Young & Healthy Virtual Adventure and they, along with 20,000 tamariki, will be supported by sporting legends and ASICS ambassadors Ardie Savea, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Kane Williamson and Samantha Charlton. Kids earn points for eating healthy and staying active while ticking things off the curriculum and travelling virtually around the world with their class.
5. Calling unhealthy options "treats" just makes them more desirable, instead show your kids how much you love vegetables - even if you have to fake it - with a family trip to the local community garden and join the gardener on duty to learn about "eating the rainbow". Get kids to choose their faves to take home and cook together.
6. There are heaps of community gardens across Aotearoa and many of them run special days or classes perfectly tailored for children, they might even discover a passion for gardening and want to grow their own at home.
7. You care more about health now you're responsible for a little life right? The same works for kids, start a dog walking syndicate with your friends to teach them about responsibility. If commitment isn't your thing, join a dog walking gang like Share My Pet or The Dog Share Collective. A problem shared is a problem halved and all.