Students at St John’s Primary School in Dubbo are making a healthy start to Term 3 by crunching on fresh vegies and fruit and sipping on water. The Dubbo primary school is one of 141 primary schools across Western NSW and Far West Local Health Districts registered for the Crunch & Sip program, which makes drinking water and eating fresh fruit and vegies part of a student’s normal school day.
Teacher at St John’s Primary, Ms Karyn King, said the program reinforces nutrition messages taught in the classroom and encourages students to develop healthy eating patterns early in life.
“We introduced Crunch & Sip because many of our students were hungry by mid morning and loosing concentration. Since introducing Crunch & Sip students are enjoying a variety of fresh vegies & fruit and drinking more water. Their classroom performance has improved. The program has received great support from teachers, parents and students alike,” Ms King said.
Crunch & Sip is one of a suite of healthy eating initiatives targeting primary schools in an effort to reduce the number of young people who are overweight and obese.
“The 2010 Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS) found whilst most primary school students eat the recommended one serve of fruit per day less than 50% of students eat enough vegetables.
“It is very important children eat the recommended serves of fresh fruit and vegetables daily as they contain minerals, vitamins and fibre essential for good health. We encourage children to choose water as a drink as it quenches their thirst and doesn’t come with the sugar and energy found in beverages such as soft drinks and sports drinks”, Ms Smith said.
“We are now offering Certified Crunch & Sip primary schools a small grant to support them in implementing the program in their school. Previous grant offers have been very popular and I expect a similar response this round of grant offers”, Ms Smith said.
For more information about Crunch & Sip please contact Julie Smith on 6841 5588.
Interview opportunity: Ms Julie Smith, Health Promotion Officer, Western NSW & Far West LHD Ph: 6841 5588
Interview & Photo Opportunity: St John Primary School Dubbo, Ms Karyn King, at 10am Monday 13 August 2012.