Kia Kaha Whānau: Thriving Together This New Zealand Autumn

Kia Kaha Whānau: Thriving Together This New Zealand Autumn

Autumn's golden touch has arrived in New Zealand, bringing with it crisp mornings, vibrant landscapes, and a call for family adventures. But with the changing season comes the need to adjust routines to stay healthy and active as a whānau (family). Here are some tips to keep your crew feeling energetic and thriving this autumn:

Embrace the Elements (Safely):

Layer Up Like a Pro: New Zealand's weather can be unpredictable. Pack thermals, light rain jackets, beanies, and scarves to ensure everyone stays comfortable throughout the day.
Gumboot Up for Fun: Don't let a sprinkle dampen your spirits! Invest in quality raincoats and gumboots for the whole family. Rainy days can be perfect for exploring puddles in a safe area, building cozy indoor forts, or having a movie marathon with hot chocolate.
Sun Smart Always: Even on cloudy days, the sun's rays can be strong. Continue to slip, slop, slap (sunscreen, hat, long sleeves) on sunny days, especially during peak hours (10am-4pm).

Fuel Up for Family Adventures:

Seasonal Feasts: Celebrate autumn's bounty! Swap out summer salads for hearty and warming meals like pumpkin soup, lamb stews, or creamy pasta dishes. Get the kids involved in the kitchen by letting them help chop vegetables or stir ingredients.
Embrace Comfort Food: As the weather cools, opt for healthy comfort food that's both delicious and nourishing. Think roasted vegetables with kumara (sweet potato), cheesy wholegrain pasta bakes, or homemade apple crumble for dessert.
Immunity Boosting Snacks: Autumn can be a time when immunity dips slightly. Encourage your kids to snack on colourful fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, and carrots to keep their vitamin intake high.

Embrace the Outdoors Actively:

Nature's Playground: New Zealand boasts stunning scenery, perfect for exploring as a whānau. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures and go for hikes, bike rides on scenic trails, or have a family picnic in a regional park.
Active Playdates: Plan playdates with other families that involve physical activity. Organize games like frisbee throwing, nature scavenger hunts, or tag in the crisp autumn air.

Move It, Move It (Indoors Too!)

Beat the Chill: Schedule outdoor activities for the sunnier parts of the day.
Indoor Fun When Needed: Rainy days or chilly evenings don't have to mean inactivity. Have a family dance party to upbeat Kiwi music, build a pillow fort for imaginative play, or play active indoor games like charades or Simon Says with a twist (like doing jumping jacks every time you lose a round).

Bonus Tip: Prioritize Sleep

As the days get shorter, getting enough sleep becomes even more crucial for everyone's health and well-being. Establish a regular sleep schedule for the whole whānau, even during weekends. Create a relaxing bedtime routine to wind down and ensure everyone gets a good night's rest.

Making Healthy Habits Fun:

Get Creative with Lunches: Make packing healthy lunches a fun activity. Let your kids choose colourful containers and cut sandwiches into fun shapes like leaves or stars.
Whānau Traditions: Start some healthy family traditions. Have a "Meatless Mondays" night or a "Whānau Fitness Fridays" where everyone does some exercise together. You could even explore local farmers' markets together to choose fresh seasonal produce.
Celebrate Successes: Acknowledge your family's healthy choices and celebrate their efforts with praise or a small reward.


The key is to make healthy habits engaging and enjoyable for the whole whānau. By incorporating these simple tips into your family's routine, you'll be well on your way to staying healthy and having a fantastic autumn season filled with family adventures and making happy memories together!