‘Little experts’ call for fresh food at school

Released 07/02/2018

6 February 2018

ACT Health’s Fresh Tastes initiative has today launched a new online video series featuring primary school children talking about healthy food and drinks.

Acting Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Dugdale, said that these videos are a great way for parents to learn more about what Fresh Tastes is doing in ACT primary schools.

“We’ve created seven videos featuring thoughts from some of Canberra’s ‘little experts’ on what they know about healthy eating, packing lunchboxes, and cooking and growing fresh food,” Dr Dugdale said.

“The videos are part of ACT Health’s Fresh Tastes initiative and show that kids are in fact the little experts and they could teach adults a thing or two about healthy eating and drinking.

“Many of Canberra’s primary schools already support Fresh Tastes through promoting healthy food and drink choices, teaching students about nutrition, adding healthier options to their canteen menus, and giving students hands-on food growing and cooking experiences.

“Parents and carers are one of the most important partners for schools. Parents can make a difference – they make the greatest contribution to their child’s education at home.

“These new videos are about highlighting to parents the importance of involving their kids when trying to make the healthier choice for their lunchboxes. The commencement of the school year is a great time to start, so parents are encouraged to check out the videos.”

Fresh Tastes is a school based, health promotion initiative led by ACT Health in partnership with the Education Directorate, the Catholic Education Office and the Association of Independent Schools of the ACT.

“Since it was launched in 2014, 93 ACT primary schools have become involved in Fresh Tastes, representing 87% of schools and reaching about 38,000 students,” Dr Dugdale said.

“These schools have been supported to: set up kitchen gardens linked to the classroom and the canteen; provide healthier food and drink choices on their canteen menus; and have access to quality accredited teacher professional learning and curriculum materials.
The latest data which was released recently in the 2018 Report on Government Services shows ACT Health’s commitment to improve lifestyle behaviours is starting to resonate with the community, with the Territory’s childhood obesity rate at 19%, lower than the national average of 20.3%.

People can view the videos from the Fresh Tastes website at: www.act.gov.au/freshtastes.

- Statement ends -

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