Kids and junk food donâ€™t play nicely together 20 January 2015 Locals were bemused by media attention over a so-called â€˜newâ€™ junk food â€˜banâ€™ in the playground. This hardly seemed newsworthy, as parents and children have been enjoying this beloved playground, junk food free for a little over six years without any fuss. There were the predictable cries of â€˜Nanny Stateâ€™ â€¦ Some people felt that this was a move by the City of Port Phillip Council to take away parentsâ€™ rights to make decisions about what their kids eat. A prominent Child Psychologist argued that banning junk food in a playground will deter kids from wanting to play. He had obviously never visited this play space, which boasts a mixture of slides, ropes, bikes, natural features, a rabbit, veggie patch and a basketball court. Getting children to leave the playground is a more valid concern for parents. Kids canâ€™t get enough! In reality, the junk food free environment is a draw card for local families whose children are treated to free healthy lunches and snacks that compliment nutrition education programs run by Council. For an hour or two, while their children play at Skinners, parents can rest assured they will not be pestered for junk food, a rare luxury given there a very few places you can take children without being surrounded by junk food and junk food marketing. Associating healthy food with playtime is a creative way for kids to develop a positive relationship with nutritious food. On the other hand, regularly associating junk food and playtime is counterproductive; it sends the message to kids that if they are active, they can eat whatever they like. The City of Port Phillip should be applauded for putting in place initiatives that promote healthy eating, safeguard childrenâ€™s health, and support parents in making healthy choices. It would be great to see a similar junk food policy applied in other playgrounds and other councils across Australia.