Welcome to Refresh
Welcome to Refresh. Here you’ll find a collection of our resources, as well as information and advice on a number of topics, from exercising at home, to cooking healthy meals, mental health support, activities and games.
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Last updated: 13 November 2023
Activities and Games
Looking for games and activities to keep the kids occupied? Fear not, we’ve got you covered with a number of resources and programs to help keep you and your family both active and entertained.
Our Go4Fun face-to-face programs return in 2023. Go4Fun is a free 10-week program for children aged 7 to 13 who are above a healthy weight to enjoy along with their families. Run by trained health and community professionals, it’s a fun way to build self-esteem and learn about eating well, staying active and living a healthy life.
Programs start at the beginning of the school term.
Family ACTIVation is a fun-packed resource to help parents and carers of 5–12-year-olds get active with their children. It’s full of quick and easy games to play at home, in the park, or wherever. Games that reinforce the fundamental movement skills like throwing, catching, hopping and skipping… the same movement skills being learnt at school. As well as the original PDF resource, we’ve also created a series of videos of some of our favourite Family ACTIVation games. Watch the video playlist below. You can also download the resource pack with all our Family ACTIVation games included here.
Get Active Today
Our Get Active Today tool is designed to help parents encourages children between the ages of four to eight to become more physically active. By boosting skill development through play, Get Active Today has been cleverly designed using simple games and activities to support the growth of your child’s fundamental movement skills in a fun, safe and creative environment.
We’ve brought two of our popular children’s books written by Central Coast author Angela Barrett to life through animated storytelling.
The Magic Lunchbox is a captivating, fun story about packing a healthy lunchbox for school, specifically targeting children in their transition to ‘big’ school. Visit our Magic Lunchbox page to download the book and resources including pre- and primary school teacher resources and healthy food activity cards.
Jack’s FUNtastic Day is a story about a boy named Jack who leaves his screen behind for a day to embark on an adventure. Visit our Jack’s FUNtastic Day page to download a copy of the book and other resources such as activity cards and teaching materials for early childhood and primary school educators to promote active play to children aged 3–6 years old.
The Sports Hub
Looking for a sport or activity on the Central Coast to help you get active? Then check out the launched Sports Hub. It’s a comprehensive local online directory that enables you to search for sports and recreation activities by location and interest, and filter by categories such as age group suitability, activities that are accessible and inclusive and providers that accept Active Kids Vouchers. The Hub has been developed in partnership by Sport Central Coast, the Office of Sport and Central Coast Council as part of their Activate Central Coast initiative to encourage community participation in sport and active recreation. The directory already features more than 100 local sports and active recreation providers covering a wide range of activities, so check it out and find an activity for you.
YMCA NSW has just launched Y Space Online, a digital directory for everything youth on the Central Coast. You can check out local opportunities and events, find your nearest education, employment and training organisation, resources and referral pathways, sporting and volunteering opportunities. It also features Your Space – a space to showcase talent, tips, ideas and inspiration. The site features more than 400 services on the Central Coast for young people, so check it out and find a service, opportunity or activity for you.
Kids Health’s play ideas for children
Kids Health has compiled a helpful page with a number of play ideas for children, including indoor and outdoor games and educational and sensory activities.
Reducing screen time
Reducing screen time can be a challenge. Watch this video full of handy tips to help your family sit less and move more. Check out NSW Health’s screen time page for more guidance and tips.
Exercise is important for both our physical health and mental health. Here are some great ways to exercise, covering all ages and abilities, to ensure we give our body and mind the work out it needs.
- Exercise Right has a number of home workout videos organised by strength and fitness, stretching and mobility, active ageing, pregnancy and kids.
- NSW Health’s Healthy Eating Active Living website has some simple exercises to do from home or outdoors. You can view and download a range of workouts, from beginner, low-intensity and high-intensity workouts.
- The NSW Institute of Sport has put together a High Performance at Home page containing a selection of videos by some of Australia’s top athletes to help us exercise at home, including improving your running technique and full body 30-minute workouts. Check out its 15-minute full body workout for beginners or daily flexibility routine for working from home.
- The Department of Education School Sport Unit and The Arts Unit have produced a range of videos called GetActive@Home to teach kids a range of fundamental and sport-specific skills using items found at home in their living rooms, in a fun and engaging way.
Cooking is a great way to bring the family together. But if you need help on how to make your meals both tasty and healthy, don’t worry, we’ve listed a number of resources with helpful recipes and advice to ensure you eat healthily at home.
Make Their Meals Count
Make Their Meals Count helps parents and carers prepare healthy meals for children aged 4–8 years. The recipes are basic everyday meals that are easy to make, with ingredients that are inexpensive and readily available. As well as the original pictorial resource, we’ve also created a series of videos demonstrating how to cook and prepare some of the delicious recipes. You can download the pictorial resource with recipes here, and check out the playlist of our Make Their Meals count videos below.
Patch to Plate
Patch to Plate is a recipe book boasting a collection of tasty and healthy recipes from primary schools on the Central Coast, curated by our Central Coast School Garden Interest Group. You download the full recipe book as well as watch a series of videos showing how to prepare and cook some of the meals – check out the playlist below. Check out the playlist featuring some selected recipes from the recipe book below.
Vege Adventure and try and eat a rainbow of different fruit and vegetables over the week. Designed to promote fruit and vegetables as part of the Crunch&Sip® break at primary school, Vege Adventure challenges kids to try and eat a rainbow of different fruit and vegetables over the course of a week. You can download fillable Vege Adventure cards to track your progress. The aim is to encourage everyone to try different fresh fruit and vegetables by eating a variety of colours over the week. Click on the image below to visit the Vege Adventure page on our website and see if your family can eat the rainbow!
Healthy Eating Active Living
Changing your routine and getting the whole family on board can seem like a challenge. But there are small steps you can take that will have a big impact on you and your family’s health and wellbeing. NSW Health’s Healthy Eating Active Living website is full of great resources, tips and helpful information on how you can live a healthy lifestyle. Check out its ‘Getting started’ page for some simple changes that could become part of your day-to-day routine. It also has some healthy recipes to try. And if you’ve ever wondered just how healthy your lifestyle is, you can also take the healthy habits quiz. The quiz will identify where you might be able to make changes to lead a healthier lifestyle, as well as signpost you to any further help and support that’s out there. Click the image below to take the quiz.
Quick Meals for Kooris
Quick Meals for Kooris is a program that supports Aboriginal people to prepare easy, low-cost family meals using available ingredients. But the recipes can be made and enjoyed by anyone! We’ve turned some of the recipes from the Quick Meals for Kooris home cookbook into videos demonstrating how to prepare and cook the meals. Watch the playlist below.
Thirsty? Choose Water!
Our Thirsty? Choose Water! website that has loads of great resources and tips to help you and your family drink more water. Download factsheets, check out mythbusters, use our sugary drink calculator and download our awesome game Aqua Sprint, available for free on iOS devices devices via the Apple store. Click on the image below, which features our Thirsty waterdrop character, to visit the site, and don’t forget to follow us Thirsty on Instagram.
Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service
Want to help improve your diet and stay active? NSW Health’s Get Healthy program is a free telephone-based information and coaching service that sets personalised healthy lifestyle goals on healthy eating, becoming more activity, achieving a healthy weight, reducing alcohol intake and achieving healthy weight gain in pregnancy. Watch the video below for more information.
Healthy lunchbox builders
Check out Cancer Council NSW’s Healthy Lunchbox page where you can use its healthy lunchbox builder and find some healthy recipes, ideas and inspiration.
Healthy eating at home
No Money No Time
Nutrition and dietetics experts at the University of Newcastle have launched the website No Money No Time. It aims to improve the eating habits of young Australians and includes quick, cheap, easy and healthy recipes. You can even take its Healthy Eating Quiz and get a personalised report on your eating habits along with recipe suggestions and ideas based on the information you provide.
There are a number of tailored resources for older adults that can help them stay active, healthy, connected and safe at home.
Healthy eating and active living programs
- NSW Health’s Active & Healthy website features an online directory to help you find exercise classes and programs near you. Activities may include walking groups, tai chi, yoga, Pilates, dance and more! Find a local program.
- Living Longer Living Stronger is an exciting and affordable exercise program to help people over 50 improve their strength, balance, coordination and fitness. Run by COTA (Council on the Ageing) NSW and delivered by accredited exercise physiologists, physiotherapists and fitness professionals, Living Longer Living Stronger programs have been co-designed with universities, health professionals and people over 50 themselves. Classes are held in suitable facilities such as gyms, council recreation facilities and community centres, however some instructors are running online classes. To find a class near you, visit the Living Longer Living Stronger page on the COTA NSW website.
- Beat It is an eight-week online physical activity and lifestyle program from Diabetes NSW. It includes moderate-intensity aerobic, strength and balance-based exercises, as well as education sessions on healthier living. Suitable for all levels of fitness. To sign up for the program and other Diabetes NSW webinars, visit its website.
Healthy eating and active living resources
- NSW Government has produced factsheets to support seniors in staying healthy and staying connected at home that include some handy and practical tips.
- Our nutrition booklet for older adults and their carers, Eating Well, includes heaps of advice from nutritionists to help you eat the foods you need to maintain weight, muscle strength, bone strength and independence.
- NSW Health’s Active and Healthy at Home booklet includes practical tips and information for older adults to stay active, healthy, and connected at home, and includes available services for the elderly. You may also wish to download and print this Active and Healthy at Home flyer, which has some handy tips you can keep close by.
- Developed by physiotherapists across Australia, Safe Exercise at Home is a simple-to-navigate website with helpful information and exercises.
- The Exercise at Home section on NSW Health’s Active and Healthy website has heaps of simple exercises to improve balance and strength, along with images and videos to demonstrate.
- COTA (Council on the Ageing) NSW, Arthritis NSW, Diabetes NSW and ACT and the National Heart Foundation have joined forces to launch a campaign called Stay Strong to Keep Moving. The campaign aims to provide simple ways to be more active and is particularly geared at older adults to help them improve strength and balance in order to maintain muscle mass and remain independent. You can download a campaign brochure with simple exercises to do now.
- The Arthritis NSW Strength and Balance Program is designed to help people living with arthritis and other musculoskeletal complaints. It’s a social program developed to support healthy joint function, build strength, manage pain and maintain and improve mobility and support healthy balance. Find out more, including how you can enroll in classes, here.
- LiveUp is a new platform that promotes healthy ageing for older adults in Australia by providing expert, evidence-based knowledge and advice. Visit the website to take its quick quiz and, based on your answers, you’ll receive personalised advice about assistive products and tailored suggestions for strength and exercise, social and cognitive activities, all in your local area or online.
Falls Prevention resources
The following resources contain advice and information on how you can avoid falls risks and hazard in the home, along with some fun games too.
Falls information and advice
- Read our Falls are Preventable brochure to see what steps you can take to avoid falls.
- Read our Falls Are Preventable factsheets:
- Download our Falls prevention checklist to help reduce your risk of falling.
- Download our Home safety checklist which includes suggestions on how to make your home environment safer.
- Take a look at out our informative poster on What to do if you fall at home. Feel free to print and keep around the house as a reference.
- The Clinical Excellence Commission has a number of helpful factsheets, available in different languages, as part of the NSW Falls Prevention Program, such as:
Falls-related activities for the brain
- Play our Falls are preventable wordsearch. Can you find all the words?
- Play Spot the Falls Risk. Can you spot all 21 hazards?
There are a number of health impacts caused by drinking too much alcohol, which you can read more about in the Alcohol section of this website. Here are some helpful resources to support you in drinking less, including mental health support.
- Changing your drinking habits is easier with someone in your corner. Did you know you can get support over the phone from your own FREE health coach through NSW Health’s Get Healthy Service? Coaches are friendly and trained to help you change your drinking habits. They will give you practical tools and support you, without judgement, helping you to set achievable goals, make a plan (starting with small steps), and overcome barriers that stand in your way. They will work as a team with you and celebrate your successes with you. To sign up, call 1300 806 258 or click on the image below and complete the simple online form. And if you want to find out more about the dedicated service for pregnant women, click here.
- Want to know more about how alcohol impacts your health? Check out Get Healthy at Work’s Alcohol and your Health factsheet. It includes tips on low-risk drinking, information for women pregnant or breastfeeding, advice for men, as well as a number of support and treatment services.
- NSW Health has produced a handy document with tips to reduce your alcohol consumption while working from home. There’s also a version for employers too.
- Check out this page on Your Room – a joint initiative by NSW Health and St Vincent’s Alcohol and Drug Information Service – which has information, advice, a risk assessment tool and helplines to support you.
- The Alcohol and Drug Foundation has a Coping with Coronavirus page that contains a range of helpful links with advice on a number of topics, from relapse and withdrawal, to resources and support services.
- FARE (the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education) has created an online resource with tips, strategies and information on how to limit alcohol use, and groups you can turn to if you need support.
- With endorsement and funding from the Australian Government Department of Health, FARE has also launched Every Moment Matters, a campaign about the importance of alcohol-free pregnancy and breastfeeding. Every Moment Matters supports and empowers Australians to stop drinking alcohol through all the moments of pregnancy, right from the moment they start trying to get pregnant. Watch the short video below to see how Every Moment Matters when it comes to pregnancy and alcohol and visit the campaign website for information and resources.
Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Quitting at any age is worth doing and will increase your life expectancy and improve your quality of life.
As soon as you stop smoking your body begins to repair itself. Within six hours your blood pressure decreases. Within six months your lungs work much better, and within two to five years there is a large drop in your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Below are some helpful websites to support you in kicking the habit.
- Visit NSW Health’s benefits of quitting smoking webpage to learn more about why you should quit and the first steps you can take to start you on your journey.
- iCanQuit is a helpful online resource for smokers who are about to quit smoking, are attempting to quit smoking, or need some extra motivation to stay quit for good.
- Quitline is a free and confidential telephone service providing customised assistance to help people quit smoking. Quitline advisors can assist people with preparing to quit, avoiding slip-ups, and staying smoke-free. You can call Quitline on 13 7848 to speak to a trained advisor, which can double your chance of quitting successfully. Alternatively, you can make a request for a call back from Quitline.
- Quitting smoking is the best thing that pregnant women can do for the health of their baby. Our Quit4Baby website has information and resources to help you quick smoking, as well as dedicated resources for midwives to support patients too.
- Ngiyang is Central Coast Local Health District’s Aboriginal Pregnancy, Child and Family Health service that provides culturally sensitive pregnancy care, parenting support and referrals for 0–5 years. The service is for all Aboriginal families living in the Gosford Local Government Area, The Entrance, Long Jetty and Bateau Bay areas. Ngiyang is staffed by Aboriginal health workers, child and family health nurses, counsellors and a midwife. One of the programs run by Ngiyang is Quit for New Life. Quit for New Life is a best practice smoking cessation program for women pregnant with an Aboriginal baby that aims to address the high rate of smoking during pregnancy and prevent relapse to smoking after birth. It provides culturally-appropriate smoking cessation support to Aboriginal pregnant women and their household members who smoke, including advice, behavioural strategies, referral to Quitline, up to 12 weeks free nicotine replacement therapy, and extended follow-up support.
- Vaping amongst teenagers on the Central Coast is a growing problem. In response, we launched Say No to Vaping, a campaign to help raise awareness of the health risks young people are exposing themselves to by using e-cigarettes. You can read more about the campaign and download resources including posters, social media tiles and animations from our Say No to Vaping campaign webpage.
- Kids Health’s Vaping: What You Need to Know is a really handy webpage with information for teens on the effects of vaping.
- Watch this short video in which Dr Lyndon Bauer, a GP on the Central Coast, answers the burning questions around e-cigarettes and vaping – including the risks associated with COVID-19 – and debunks some myths along the way.
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