Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education

Promoting healthy eating, active play and sustainability awareness in early childhood curricula: Addressing the Ben10™ problem


This project uses a pedagogical communication strategy to help early childhood educators design and implement play-based learning experiences for young children that integrate content knowledge about sustainability, health and wellbeing and digital media consumption. The project is conducted as randomised trial to evaluate the efficacy of play-based learning experiences designed and implemented by educators on young children’s knowledge about sustainability practices, healthy eating and exercise practices and their engagement with digital media.


  • Australian Research Council, Discovery Project, $232,000



Research Investigators


  • Skouteris, H., Do, M., Rutherford, L., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., & Edwards, S. (2010). Call for research–the consuming child-in-context in unhealthy and unsustainable times. Australian journal of environmental education26, 33-45.
  • Edwards, S., Skouteris, H., Rutherford, L., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2013). ‘It’s all about Ben10™’: children’s play, health and sustainability decisions in the early years. Early Child Development and Care183(2), 280-293.
  • Skouteris, H., Cox, R., Huang, T., Rutherford, L., Edwards, S., & Cutter-Mackenzie, A. (2014). Promoting obesity prevention together with environmental sustainability. Health promotion international29(3), 454-462.
  • Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Rutherford, L., Cutter-MacKenzie, A., Huang, T., & O’Connor, A. (2014). Promoting healthy eating, active play and sustainability consciousness in early childhood curricula, addressing the Ben10™ problem: a randomised control trial. BMC public health14(1), 548. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-548
  • Edwards, S., Skouteris, H., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., Rutherford, L., O’Conner, M., Mantilla, A., Morris, H., & Elliot, S. (2016). Young children learning about well-being and environmental education in the early years: a funds of knowledge approach. Early Years36(1), 33-50. doi: 10.1080/09575146.2015.1064099
  • Morris, H., Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Rutherford, L. M., Cutter-Mackenzie, A., O’Connor, A., Mantilla, A., Huang, T.TK., Lording, K.M., & Williams-Smith, J. (2016). Feasibility of conducting a randomized trial to promote healthy eating, active play and sustainability awareness in early childhood curricula. Early Child Development and Care186(11), 1752-1764. doi: 10.1080/03004430.2015.1131158
  • Skouteris, H., Edwards, S., Morris, H., Cox, R., Baur, L., Wolfenden, L., & Huang, T. T. (2017). Early childhood education and health working in partnership: the critical role early childhood educators can play in childhood obesity prevention. Early Child Development and Care, 1-5.