Revamped Snack Facts resource helps families choose healthy snack options

24 October 2017

Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit has revamped one of the most popular health resources used in the community.

The Snack Facts and Timonga Kai brochures, which are guides for families on healthy lunchbox snacks and drinks, have been given a new lease of life after being re-produced in both English and Te Reo Māori.

Sara Knowles, Taranaki DHB’s senior public health advisor, said “The brochures offer parents and children examples of bite sized snacks that can be eaten every day, only sometimes, or less than once a week. It also contains detail on the sugar content of popular drinks.”

The first Snack Facts brochure was created more than a decade ago, but only in English. It has had numerous adaptations since it originated, with more healthy snacks and drink tips added over the years.

Ms Knowles confirms “This resource was so widely used in the Taranaki community that we ran out of copies over 18 months ago. Thanks to Public Health funds we have now revised the resource in English and Te Reo Māori after several requests for more brochures from community health services.”

Ms Knowles explains “Our first attempt at creating the brochure in Te Reo Māori was a few years ago when we worked with whānau of Te Pi'ipi'inga Kakano Mai I Rangiatea to produce the original Timonga Kai brochure. For the revised edition we engaged Te Reo o Taranaki to check the content. There are not many health education resources in our local Taranaki dialect, but we are really committed to ensuring what we do produce is appropriate for Taranaki whānau, kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa Māori.”

“With all the marketing, it can be really confusing for parents and children to figure out which snacks are the better choices. Snack Facts and Timonga Kai make it easier to see how much sugar and fat is in snacks and drinks which children commonly have.”

Taranaki DHB Dental Therapist and Oral Health Educator, Deneille Walden, offered advice on the brochures from an oral health perspective. She said “It was important to use relevant graphics in the brochures and wording that our tamariki and whānau could understand.”

“We also wanted it to be clear for people that when selecting lunchbox snacks they look for foods which have less sugar. This certainly helps when looking after your oral health.”

The Snack Facts and Timonga Kai brochures are available by contacting the Public Health resource coordinator, please email


For more information please call

Beth Findlay-Heath
Communications Advisor
021 665 017


Last updated: Thursday, July 11, 2019

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