Chat live with us
Online Chat



OPAL Network

In 2010 Council won five years of OPAL funding and a further round of funding was secured in 2012. This enabled a significant increase in healthy eating and active living initiatives, all of which were planned from the outset with sustainability in mind.

Although the funding period for OPAL has ended we continue to work hard to make healthier lifestyles an easy option for our local residents. Health and wellbeing are at the forefront of our guiding plans and strategies including: the community plan, public health plans, and our strategy for walking and cycling. Because the work of OPAL was done in partnership, much of this effort continues as part of core business delivered by existing portfolios within Council.

This page contains some useful links and key documents produced as part of the partnerships OPAL supported along the way.

OPAL in Charles Sturt 2010-2015
Community highlights booklet 2012-2017
Imagination Playground information and bookings
Smoothie Bike loans
Breastfeeding Friendly Charles Sturt

Healthy Barbeques

Need some fresh ideas for the summer BBQ?

The OPAL Better BBQ resource is designed to provide guidance and ideas for making easy changes to the traditional barbeque, providing nutritious options suitable for children and families.

Whether you're a sporting or service club, community group, school or family and friends catching up, a healthy barbeque is a great opportunity to contribute to the health and wellbeing of your community!

Why not try a healthier approach to your next BBQ?

For the complete booklet:

Better BBQ Resource (1878 kb)

Tip Sheets:

Better BBQ Menu Ideas (327 kb)

Easy Healthy BBQ's for fundraising and catering (219 kb)

Easy budgeting for a healthy BBQ (212 kb)

Healthy Fundraising Ideas

Fun and fresh ideas for fundraising - beyond the chocolate frog.

This booklet has ideas for healthy fundraising that supports healthy lifestyles for families. It is full of ideas and tips for alternatives to traditional fundraisers such as ‘chocolate drives’ or the classic sausage sizzle. Such as these fresh ideas:

  • Soup days
  • Healthy BBQ lunches
  • Scavenger hunts 
  • Create and sell calendars or cookbooks.

Show your community that you value their health and wellbeing, not just profit alone.

Download the booklet:

Fun and fresh ideas for fundraisers (6712 kb)


Budget friendly step by step recipes

OPAL has been working over several years in partnership with Foodbank and Uniting Care Wesley Bowden (Community Foodies) to increase healthy choices at the Bowden Foodbank outlet. The project team has explored a range of strategies to make healthier choices more accessible through policy, training, promotion, and resources.

The project started with the training of Foodbank volunteers by OPAL and Council’s environmental health staff. The training included food safety and basic nutrition, adapted from core topics covered in the training of Community Foodies.

The pricing system at Foodbank encourages the use of whatever fresh vegetables and fruit are available. Over the course of this project the layout of the Foodbank outlet has been updated to maximise visibility and appeal of healthier choices.

The recipes were developed by a group of volunteers from Foodbank and Community Foodies who worked alongside OPAL. The recipes were designed to require only minimal cooking equipment- many can be produced using basic kitchenette facilities. They feature ingredients regularly available at Foodbank, therefore do not include a wide variety of herbs , spices or fresh produce, however they are easily adapted to use up whatever you have on hand from your garden, fridge or pantry!.

Baked Potato (1831 kb)

Bread and butter pudding (3071 kb)

Burgers recipe (2901 kb)

Fried Rice recipe (2113 kb)

Frittata recipe (2625 kb)

Fruit dessert recipe (1717 kb)

KiCeeMin recipe (2627 kb)

Lentil Bol recipe (2615 kb)

Omelette mug recipe (1370 kb)

Poached egg recipe (1480 kb)

Savoury mince (2567 kb)

Tuna bake recipe (1971 kb)

Tuna salad recipe (2257 kb)

Many thanks to Council’s photographer and graphic designer who brought these recipes to life in such an easy-read format. We encourage local families, community groups and schools give them a try and let us know what you think!

Other useful recipes:

In this section we have pulled together some of the most popular recipes that have been used by OPAL staff from a range of Councils across SA.

Better Barbie Healthy Recipes Kit (933 kb)

breakfast costs and recipes (1464 kb)

Breakfast Menu Recipes (635 kb)

Recipe - Chickpea Couscous Salad (52 kb)

Recipe - Mexican Mince and Beans (81 kb)

Recipe - Mung Bean Burgers (134 kb)

Recipe - No Fuss Stir Fry (270 kb)

Make it a Fresh Snack

'Make it a Fresh Snack' is the first campaign message for the OPAL program in the City of Charles Sturt.

Fresh Snacks - 1The campaign encourages children, young people and their families to choose fresh and unpackaged snacks.

Well chosen fresh snacks can provide children and young people the energy and nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Not only can fresh snacks be tasty, they are also better for the environment because they reduce the amount of litter and waste.

When choosing snacks, pick the ones that have lots of vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron and fibre, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, reduced fat dairy products, eggs, nuts, beans, wholegrain breads and cereals. Generally, unpackaged foods contain less added salt, sugar and fat.

The campaign has lots of ideas to support children, young people and families to 'Make it a Fresh Snack'. The following brochures provide information on quick and easy snack ideas, saving money on snacks, dealing with fussy eaters and more.

Make it a Fresh Snack (3114 kb)     General snack information, ideas and tips.

Snack Ideas at Home (342 kb)     Fresh snack ideas for the kids at home, at school or on the run.

Fresh Snacks Shopping List (366 kb)     What to keep in the pantry to help create quick and fresh snacks.

Healthy Brekky is easy as...

A Healthy Brekky is easy as Peel, Pour, Pop

We all know a healthy brekky is important for kids and parents.

Breakfast2It provides a great start to the day and helps kids’ learning and concentration. It also provides plenty of vitamins and minerals your kids need for a healthy body and great start to the day.

A healthy brekky can be more than cereal. Try grainy or fruit breads – plain or toasted, fruit (fresh, tinned in natural juice or frozen), proteins such as baked beans, eggs, reduced-fat milks, yoghurts and cheese.

For the best start to the day, aim for your healthy brekky to include wholegrain bread or cereal, protein and fruit.

Peel a banana, orange or mandarin

Pour milk into a glass

Pop fruit bread into the toaster

To help your kids to get ready for a healthy brekky Sometimes it can take a little while before kids and their appetites wake up in the morning. To give your kids the best chance of enjoying a healthy brekky, encourage kids to:

• Limit snacks after dinner

• Go to bed earlier

• Wake up in plenty of time for kindy, school or other activities

• Turn off the TV in the mornings

• Eat breakfast with you.

Parents play an important role in encouraging kids to enjoy a healthy brekky. If your children see you enjoying a healthy breakfast, they are more likely to enjoy it too.

With all the breakfast cereals around and all the clever marketing it can be confusing at the supermarket. Some cereals can contain a lot of added sugar! By stocking up on healthy options, there will be lots of good choices at home that are also good value for money.

For tips on how to choose the healthiest cereal for your family, check out OPAL's label reading guide:

 Breakfast Cereal Label Reading Guide (863 kb)

For more information and quick, tasty breakfast ideas and recipes:

Healthy Brekky Ideas (2148 kb)

General Healthy Brekky information, ideas and tips.

Healthy Brekky is Easy as Peel Pour Pop(2472 kb)

Important questions about breakfast answered:

Healthy Breakfast FAQ(1643 kb) 

A shopping list to remember at the shops

 Breakfast Shopping List(1445 kb)

Life Looks Brighter Outside

Local parks and playgrounds are great places to explore. So enjoy the day with outdoor play!

OPAL Bike RidingOPAL is encouraging children and families to get outside and enjoy their local parks and playgrounds.  There are lots of things to keep the family busy indoors but getting outside is where the real adventure begins. Kids love playing outside and sometimes all they need is the opportunity to get out there.

In Australia today, 87% of children spend more time playing indoors than outdoors.  In South Australia, 63% of children do not meet the recommended guidelines for sufficient physical activity.

OPAL BalancingWhile the increased amount of children’s screen time, such as watching television or spending hours on computers or other technology, is one reason for the decrease in outdoor activity, other factors can play a role such as busy out of school schedules, smaller back yards and concerns about child safety.

Playing outdoors is important for children, just like healthy food and sleep because children that have the opportunity to play outdoors are fitter, stronger and more co-ordinated. 

Your local parks and playgrounds provide a great free space to be active and explore their surroundings. Allow them to get messy, meet up with other kids, make choices, agree on their own rules and create an adventure to remember. The kids will be having so much fun they won’t think of it as exercise.

For more ideas and tips about getting outside, as well as the benefits, check out information on the benefits of getting outdoors and some ideas and tips:

Life Looks Brighter Outside informational brochure (6365 kb)

Want a challenge? See how many you can tick off on Nature Play SA ‘51 things to do before you’re 12’ list:

51 Things to do before you're 12 (1912 kb)

Jump on your bike, throw a Frisbee, or make a mud pie… There are all kinds of things to enjoy when you go outside.

Think Feet First

step, cycle, scoot to school

Think Feet First - cycle'Think Feet First' is the second campaign message for the OPAL program in the City of Charles Sturt.

Being active every day is important for everyone and is essential for children's health. One way for kids to be active everyday is to Think Feet First and step, cycle or scoot to school.

Why step, cycle or scoot to school?

  • It helps build strong muscles and bones
  • Improves children's concentration and helps learning
  • Creates healthier and safer places to live with less traffic and less pollution
  • Provides a great opportunity for you to share time with your kids
  • Gives kids time to spend with their friends
  • Helps kids to get to know their local neighbourhood
  • Helps kids learn about road safety
  • Reduces car congestion at the school gate
  • Reduces emissions from cars
  • Can help you save money on petrol, transport costs etc.

The following brochures can provide more information:

Think Feet First - Brochure (671 kb)      General information.

Think Feet First - Kids Brochure (847 kb)      Help your kids track their active travel.

Think Feet First - Action Sheet (609 kb)      Suggestions for how the community can get involved.

Part Way is OK - Try Park and Step today!

If you can’t step, cycle or scoot all the way to school, you could try Parking and Stepping instead!

What is Park and Step?

Park and Step encourages families that drive to school to ‘Think Feet First’ by parking their vehicle at least 5 minutes away from school and walking the rest of way.

Park and Step isn’t just for schools. You can Park and Step to and from many destinations in the community such as the local shops, the local park, or a friend or relatives house.

Why Park and Step?

There are lots of good reasons to Park and Step, some of which include:

  • Encouraging students and their families to be more active in their day. This is especially important for children because active children are healthier, happier and learn better too.
  • Creating a safer environment around the school at drop off and pick up times.
  • Helping children get to know their local neighbourhood better.
Provide feedback for this page