Western NSW and Far West primary schools are once again being offered the chance to apply for grants for “Crunch & Sip”, a program which encourages healthy eating habits in early life.
Crunch & Sip is a program in primary schools where there is a time in the day for students to be able to eat vegetables or fruit and drink water.
Western NSW Local Health District Health Promotion Officer Lauren Bond said many schools across Western NSW and Far West are already a part of the program, and it’s expected that as in previous years, there will be a good response to the Full Implementation grants.
“Many schools have already received a grant and some schools have chosen to spend their grant money on vegetable gardens, where the students can learn about how to grow and pick the vegetables and then these vegetables can be used at Crunch & Sip time,” Ms Bond said.
“Other schools have used the money to purchase a fridge so that they are able to keep the water cool in the hot months of the year
“We are also offering those schools who have consistently implemented Crunch & Sip for three years or more a silver grant to acknowledge the amazing job they have done and to allow them to continue their great work,” she said.
The 2010 Schools Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (SPANS) found that while most primary school students eat the recommended one serve of fruit per day, less than 50% of students eat enough vegetables. Soft drinks, cordials and sports drinks are consumed on a daily basis by 10-20% of students, and up to one third of younger students consume a cup of juice daily.
“It is very important children eat the recommended serves of 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 Bond said.
Crunch & Sip has grown in numbers in schools and it is making a difference to children’s levels of overweight and obesity.
“We know that levels of overweight and obesity remain high right across the population and this is a risk factor for many other conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease,” Ms Bond said.
“We hope that schools who are not yet implementing Crunch & Sip will do so as it is such a positive influence in the children’s lives”.
For more information on Crunch & Sip please contact Lauren Bond on (02) 6378 6207.
Media Contact: Vanessa Delaney, Media Manager Ph 6369 3833 or 0417 511 738