Welcome to the latest edition of the Healthy Eats Grapevine.
We have had a fantastic Term 3, working with our Healthy Eats schools in North Queensland and Southeast Queensland, delivering classroom sessions, teacher professional development, and working with schools to reach their tuckshop and garden goals.
The fruit and vegetable gardens created at our schools have been truly amazing and are becoming a great source of fresh fruit and veggies for their school communities.
Recently, the team headed out to Loganholme State School, along with some of our friends from Bunnings, to help with the creation of their school garden. The students loved it, and it was a great way to engage them with the concept of where their food comes from.
From the garden to the kitchen, Healthy Eats has launched the new I Made It! Competition and we are already receiving healthy and creative entries!
Open to all Healthy Eats and Healthy Eats accredited schools, the I Made It! Competition encourages students and parents to work together in the kitchen to re-create one of the healthy and easy I Made It! recipes. There are some great prizes up for grabs so send in your entry today.
In this edition we also talk to Wulguru State School about their Healthy Eats accreditation experience and how the program helped to change food choices in their school. We also find out about the impact the passport competition has had on the Fernbrooke State School Year 6 classes and how the school has been working with their local community to support the daily Healthy Eats brain break.
It is so great to see so many schools truly committed to the health and nutrition of their students and wider school community.
As we close term 3 and enter the busy last term of 2022, we look forward to continuing to work with all our schools and seeing more achieve their Healthy Eats milestones.
I wish everyone a restful and rejuvenating term break, and we look forward to a great term 4 together.
CEO, Life Ed Queensland
In this edition:
Student wellbeing is a high priority at Wulguru State School, so when teachers identified many students having difficulty bringing healthy lunches to school, and possibly making the same food choices at home, they decided to find a way to help.
Wulguru Healthy Eats Coordinator, Toni Wilson was part of the team working to find a solution and championed the Healthy Eats program implementation at the school.
“Our school values good nutrition and the benefits it brings to children and their learning, so selecting the Healthy Eats program was an easy one. It met our goals for students, but also the community, and it was delivered by Life Ed Qld, so we knew the program would be high quality,” said Toni.
Once the school had signed on to the program, they decided to take the extra steps to become Healthy Eats accredited.
“Accreditation was a natural step for us. While the process was thorough, we didn’t find it difficult as we were already introducing a number of facets of the program. We also found the financial and partnership incentives beneficial to achieving our goals,” said Toni.
Connecting schools with community partners is a major component of the Healthy Eats program, and Wulguru State school was keen to take advantage of the partnership with Bunnings to get their school garden up and running.
“Students were really excited about getting into the garden and re-establishing it. That was probably their favourite part,” Toni said.
Wulguru actively encouraged their students to engage with the program and become involved in everything the program had to offer.
“Students really enjoyed the hands-on aspects of Healthy Eats, such as competing in the passport competition and making healthy snacks as part of the classroom module,” said Toni.
Benefits of the program even reached beyond the classroom and school yard for Wulguru, with Toni counting the regular newsletter tips for families, access to teacher resources, and support for the tuckshop through the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops (QAST) partnership as some of the most valuable elements of the program.
“Throughout the Healthy Eats program, we definitely noticed an improvement across the school in the foods students were bringing in their lunches.”
Some found making a change easier than others, but overall, I think being involved in Healthy Eats has been very valuable for the students and school community as a whole.
“I would certainly recommend other schools take up the opportunity to be part of Healthy Eats and would definitely encourage other schools to give working towards accreditation a go,” said Toni.
Win a $100 Woolworths gift card simply by entering the Healthy Eats I Made It! Competition.
Entering is easy:
The competition is open to all students, teachers and families of current Healthy Eats and Healthy Eats accredited schools. Not sure if you are a Healthy Eats school? Check here.
Why not try the easy mini pizza recipe below – it could win you $100 to spend on your next grocery shop!
Excitement was high at Loganholme State School recently when the Healthy Eats team and Loganholme Bunnings visited the school to help kick start their school fruit and veg garden.
The Year 1 and 5 students were a-buzz, keen to get stuck-in and get their hands dirty, sharing stories of their own gardens, and animatedly discussing the seedling selections they would soon be planting.
Once kitted up in their wide brimmed hats and gloves, with spades, rakes and watering cans at the ready, the students eagerly listened to the directions of the Bunnings experts and educators there to guide them.
Carefully creating holes for their seedlings, the students started planting an array of garden fruits and vegetables including snow peas, lettuces, tomatoes, carrots, silver beets, rhubarb and rosemary alongside their edible companion plants – the bright and cheerful marigolds.
The students were keen to share their knowledge – when asked by the Bunnings crew why flowers were included in the garden, several students called out “for the bees”, one student, Elliana from Year 5 explaining; “A garden with flowers attracts the pollinators and they help keep your garden growing.”
Once the plants were in the soil, the students carefully placed a layer of sugar cane mulch around the plants, before energetically watering each and every one.
At the end of the session, the year 5’s shared what they thought would be the best thing about the school garden and why it is important to eat healthy foods.
“Growing your own veggies will save you money because you don’t have to go to the shops, and they will keep your body healthy too.” Mackenzie, Year 5
“The best thing about having a garden is watching your veggies grow. It’s important to eat healthy foods from the garden so you can grow stronger and keep healthy.” Sienna, Year 5
“The best thing about the garden is we can grow our own fruit and veggies, and we can take them to the tuckshop so they can be shared with everyone, so everyone can be healthy and have a strong immune system.” Kruiz, Year 5
“I think having a garden is good because you can grow healthy foods and learn good routines. Eating healthy is important because it helps your body work better, so you don’t get sick.” Jackson, Year 5
Danielle Bladen, Year 1 teacher and Garden Project Leader believes the garden will have a positive impact on the school and its students.
“Already there is so much excitement from the kids. They’ve been asking if they can use it [garden produce] to do cooking or take it [garden produce] to the tuckshop to be used. We will also use it in our classroom learning – in science and for other lessons, so I think it will have a great impact across the school,” said Danielle.
The school has already created a garden club made up of students from all year levels, who will tend and be responsible for the garden, with a session running each Monday for students to keep an eye on their plants and ensure they are getting what they need to thrive.
“It is so great to see the excitement of the kids – they were asking so many questions in the session today about how to take proper care of the garden and their plants, and kept asking when they could come back and do some more planting and watering,” said Danielle.
After a successful classroom session earlier in the year, the Fernbrooke State School Year 6 classes and teachers were pumped to strive for their daily ‘2 and 5 to help you thrive’ in the Healthy Eats passport competition.
Rivalry was strong (but friendly) between the five Year 6 classes, all jostling to come out on top and claim the Healthy Eats class picnic prize as their own.
Some smart thinking by the teachers saw a fresh fruit bowl introduced to the classrooms so that every student had the opportunity to increase their fruit intake each day, even if they hadn’t bought a piece of fruit or vegetable from home.
The Year 6 teachers even called on their community connections to drum up some regular donations of fruits and veggies from local businesses, so that the classroom fruit bowls could remain full and fresh throughout the competition.
Students regularly enjoyed apples, bananas, pears, cut oranges and even rockmelon from the class fruit bowls.
Fernbrooke Healthy Eats Coordinator, Brooke Oberle was excited to see so many students and staff get behind the program and make nutrition an important part of their everyday.
“It was so good to see everyone get behind the passport competition. Students were excited to fill in their passports every day, and it was great to see many kids trying new fruits and vegetables too,” Brooke said.
Class fruit bowls, teacher and student role modelling, along with a healthy appetite for competition, saw the fruit and vegetable intake of the students greatly increase.
“In the first week, the average across all Year 6 classes was 130 serves of fruit and 33 serves of vegetables, and in the final week the average increased to 165 serves of fruit and 44 serves of vegetables, which we were happy to see,” Brooke said.
In the end there could only be one winner – and the title went to class 6C – who consumed an impressive 923 serves of fruit and 198 serves of vegetables over the 4-week competition. The winning class is now excitedly planning their Healthy Eats picnic which will happen in the coming weeks.
“The passport challenge, along with brain break, has enabled students to see the value of getting their 2 and 5 to help them thrive and now actively seek ways they can increase the number of serves they consume both at home and school,” Brooke said.
“I’m glad to say this trend has continued even though the passport challenge has concluded. The students enjoyed the challenge so much, they even wanted to take their passports home as a souvenir!”