Welcome to the new edition of the Healthy Eats Grapevine. 

What an incredible couple of months it has been! Six of our Healthy Eats schools in North Queensland have reached full accreditation, demonstrating their strong commitment to a gold standard healthy food environment for the benefit of the whole school community. 

Well done to Mossman State School, Julatten State School, Biboohra State School, and Jubilee Christian College in the Cairns region, Bucasia State School in the Mackay region and Wulguru State School in the Townsville region, on reaching accreditation. What a fantastic achievement!

There has been plenty more happening too, with Healthy Eats making a strong impression at St. Benedict’s recent EcoFest, and the Healthy Eats team visiting schools in the Cairns region to gain feedback and stories about their experiences with Healthy Eats. 

Our new ‘Lunchbox Life Savers’ competition is now open, and gives parents of Healthy Eats schools the opportunity to win a healthy food hamper, just by sharing their best healthy lunchbox hints, tips, tricks, recipes, or ideas with us! 

As this will be our last communication for the year, I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our 2021 Healthy Eats schools, communities and volunteers and I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy school break. We look forward to working with you again in 2022. 

Michael Fawsitt
CEO, Life Education Queensland  

Michael Fawsitt 1

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North QLD Schools Reach Healthy Eats Milestone

Six North Queensland schools have now reached full Healthy Eats Accreditation.

Mossman State School, Julatten State School, Biboohra State School, and Jubilee Christian College from the Cairns region, Bucasia State School in the Mackay region, and Wulguru State School in the Townsville region, are now officially recognised by Life Education Queensland as providing a gold standard healthy school food environment for their community.

Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt was full of praise for the schools who had reached the milestone.

“This is a great achievement for these schools, and truly demonstrates their commitment to providing a school environment focused on the health and well-being of their community,” Mr Fawsitt said.

To become accredited, schools must achieve 10 criteria that promote a healthy school food environment, including establishing school gardens, creating healthy Tuckshop menus and forming a student leadership group who promotes healthy eating at a peer level across the school.

Mossman State School Principal, Randal Smith said achieving accreditation was important for Mossman.

Life Education Qld North Qld Healthy Eats Milestone

“We chose to take the accreditation pathway because we wanted to be true to the spirit of the Healthy Eats philosophy, and not just complete the Healthy Eats program for the sake of completing a program. It’s been a privilege to take this journey with our school community,” Mr Smith said.

On reaching accreditation schools also receive a suite of rewards and recognitions which includes a grant of up to $1000 to use toward continuing their healthy eating journey.

Schools have chosen to dedicate these funds to a variety of uses including new Tuckshop equipment, cooking equipment, outdoor kitchens, gardening tools and healthy school cook-up’s and snacks for students.

Wayne Ralph, Healthy Eats Coordinator at Jubilee Christian College, said Jubilee was glad to have achieved accreditation and was keen to continue their healthy eating journey.

“Our aim is to keep improving in this area as we continue to build a culture of healthy eating, not just a one-off experience,” Mr Ralph said.

Knowing their school values healthy eating is important for Julatten State School students Stevie and Lily too.

“I think eating healthily is important for living a happy life. Your body can work better and you will feel happier,” Stevie said.

“I think it is a really good thing for new kids and new families to see that at this school [Julatten State School] we are healthy,” Lily said.

Share Your Lunchbox Life Savers and WIN!

We know creating healthy school lunchboxes kids love can be tough, so we want to hear about your kid-approved healthy lunchbox life savers that every parent should know!

Share your favourite healthy lunchbox life saver hints, tips, tricks, recipes or ideas with Healthy Eats today for your chance to win a gourmet healthy fruit and veg hamper just in time for Christmas.

Entries close midnight Monday 29th November 2021 and are open to all parents with a child currently attending a Life Education Queensland Healthy Eats school.

To enter, simply follow this link, fill in the form and share your healthy lunchbox life saver hint, tip, trick, recipe or idea with us for your chance to win!

Life Education Queensland Healthy Eats Grapevine Lunchbox Lifesaver

Healthy Eats Makes an Impact at St. Benedict’s EcoFest

Life Education Queensland’s Healthy Eats team was very excited when the Year 3 students of St. Benedict’s Catholic School in Shaw, asked us to help them promote healthy eating and growing veggie gardens to their community, at the school’s annual EcoFest event.

This year, the Year 3 students created the inspiring Grow and Go stall which focused on informing and educating the community about the benefits of vegetables (something we at Healthy Eats are very passionate about!).

The Year 3 students showed visitors how to grow fresh produce at home and talked about the many different ways fresh vegetables could be used in everyday cooking. They even created their very own veggie fritter recipe to share!

Visitors to the stall received a copy of the Year 3’s veggie fritter recipe on a handy Healthy Eats fridge magnet clip, along with a vegetable seedpod provided by Healthy Eats that visitors could take home and plant in their own gardens.

EcoFest is an annual opportunity for the students and community of St. Benedict’s to celebrate and share their knowledge on all things environmentally friendly. A number of different vendors are also invited to give their advice on how students, staff, friends and family can make changes in order to live more sustainably.

Life Education Qld Healthy Eats Stbenedicts2

As part of their work with Healthy Eats and their great focus on making healthy food choices and sustainable living, St. Benedict’s Catholic School has established a thriving vegetable garden where students enjoy harvesting produce and learning about all the different varieties of vegetables that grow in their region.

At Healthy Eats we love to support initiatives like this that create a fun learning environment which can really fuel a student’s desire to make behaviour changes and better choices.

We are already looking forward to EcoFest 2022 and we imagine so are the students.

Life Education Qld Healthy Eats Stbenedicts

Check out the St. Benedict’s EcoFest Veggie Fritter recipe below. Thanks for sharing it with us Year 3.

Healthy Veggie Fritter Recipe

This fantastic recipe was provided by the Year 3 class at St. Benedict’s Catholic School. This recipe is quick and easy to make, and is packed full of delicious veggies that provide plenty of nutrition.

Try them as breakfast with a poached egg and roasted tomatoes, or as an afternoon or lunchbox snack that will really ‘fill a hole’ in your tummy.

Get the recipe card now from the Life Education Hub.

Life Education Queensland Veggie Fritter Recipe St Benedicts

Parents get a Head Start on Healthy Lunchboxes at Riverview State School

Parents at Riverview State School got a head start on how to make healthy lunchboxes recently by attending the ‘Packing a Healthy Lunchbox’ workshop, run by Life Ed Qld Healthy Eats Nutritionist Jaclyn Coffey.

The new workshop focused on healthy food options that work best in lunchboxes, how to read nutrition labels to make the best choices, and quick and simple healthy recipes that make lunchboxes delicious and nutritious. 

Parents enjoyed the session and were able to take away a number of handy hints and tips from the workshop.

“I’ve never thought about freezing a batch of lunchbox snacks like pumpkin scones to have on hand before,” one parent said. 

“It was a great reminder that lunchboxes don’t need to be complicated to be healthy or tasty.” 

Riverview State School invited Healthy Eats to present the workshop as part of their prep orientation morning which welcomed new families to the school ahead of their children commencing in 2022. 

Life Education Qld Healthy Eats Grapevine Riverview

“We thought this would be a great opportunity to provide our new families with helpful information about healthy school lunches. This will be the first time that some of our parents will need to pack their child’s lunchbox for school,” Karen Grace, Riverview Healthy Eats Coordinator said.

Healthy Eats visits Port Douglas and Mossman State School’s

The Life Education Queensland Healthy Eats team recently returned from North Queensland, where we spent two days filming with Port Douglas State School and Mossman State School, providing an inside look into their Healthy Eats Accreditation experience.

We were also able to capture some great insights from the Mossman staff about their experiences with implementing the different elements of the Healthy Eats program within the school and the changes they have seen in their students since the program began.

A huge thank you to everyone at Port Douglas State School for hosting us, and a special thank you to the Healthy Eats Coordinator, Tobias Mott for helping us bring it altogether.

Our next stop was Mossman State School, about half an hour drive outside of Port Douglas.

We were lucky enough to spend a whole day at this amazing school discovering and documenting the significant impact the Healthy Eats program has had on their school community.

The Year 5 Healthy Eats student leaders were a lively and enthusiastic bunch, excited to show us around their school, the tuck-shop, and their school garden; and were keen to share with us their knowledge about the importance of making healthy food choices, and which healthy food options from the tuck-shop (Munchbox Mayi) were the best!

“Our tuck-shop is great! Sally makes the best chicken and vegetable curry ever!!” said Year 5 student, Thea.

Life Education Qld Healthy Eats Mossman Port Douglas

We were also able to capture some great insights from the Mossman staff about their experiences with implementing the different elements of the Healthy Eats program within the school and the changes they have seen in their students since improving the school’s relationship with food.

A big thank you to all the staff and students at Mossman State School who made us feel so welcome and in particular, Healthy Eats Coordinator Sonja Craven and Principal, Randal Smith for hosting us on campus and sharing their journey with us.

BYOHL - Build Your Own Healthy Lunchbox

Creating a healthy school lunchbox provides many benefits to kids throughout their day – it helps them concentrate and have longer lasting energy; but what does a healthy lunchbox actually look like? How can you create one quickly and easily?

We asked our Healthy Eats Nutritionist Jaclyn Coffey, to share her simple system for creating kid-approved healthy lunchboxes every time - and the answer is as easy as 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

  • Main Lunch item – a sandwich, roll, wrap, salad or pasta. Try a chicken and coleslaw wrap or tuna and pasta salad. 
  • A veggie or fruit snack – try frozen grapes and pineapple or a corn on the cob 
  • Nutritious snack – try a wholemeal fruit muffin or baked beans 
  • Drink – water is best every day or a plain milk popper is also a good choice 

Trying to include an option from each food group – lean meats/alternatives, fruit, vegetables, grain foods and dairy/alternatives will ensure a great variety and lots of nutrition across the day.

Life Education Qld Healthy Eats Grapevine Lunchbox Example

Jaclyn also suggests planning what you will put in the lunchbox ahead of time. 

“Creating a lunchbox plan for the week ahead makes it easier to buy items ahead of time, or make batches of food like muffins or scones that can be frozen and easily added to lunchboxes in the morning or night before,” Jaclyn said. 

Getting kids involved in planning and packing their lunchboxes is also a great way to get them thinking about and taking ownership of their food choices. It can also help to reduce food waste, as kids have chosen their lunch items themselves, and spent time and effort making them. 

To help make healthy school lunchboxes easier, we have created some great resources – including a handy lunchbox planner with lots of lunch and snack choices that are great in school lunchboxes. Find it in the Life Education Queensland Hub today! 

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