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Record expected to be broken again as NSW kids get crunching

Photo: Record expected to be broken again as NSW kids get crunching
Only around 5% of children in NSW eat enough vegetables.

In an effort to change this statistic, primary schools across NSW will be coming together to encourage students and their families to eat more vegetables with Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch.

Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch is an annual health promotion event run in NSW primary schools in Term 1. The event is part of the Crunch&Sip NSW program and is funded by NSW Health.

The week-long event provides free resources to primary school teachers that promote vegetables to students, and culminates in The Big Vegie Crunch, a record-breaking attempt for simultaneous vegetable eating. Vegetable Week runs from 1st– 5thApril 2019, with The Big Vegie Crunch to be held at 10am on Thursday 4thApril.

Since its inception in 2016, participation numbers in “the Crunch” have been steadily growing and in 2018 a record-breaking 50,260 children across 302 schools crunched vegetables at the same time. A further 11,939 students crunched at another time over the week. That’s a whole lot of vegetable eating!
This year, around 100,000 students from 532 primary schools across the state are expected to crunch on vegies at the same time, aiming to break the 2018 record.  At the same time this experience will increase students’ knowledge, exposure and positive attitudes towards the vegetables.

Katie Booth from the Healthy Kids Association, who is the project manager of Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch, says that fun, interactive, school-based events such as Vegetable Week & The Big Vegie Crunch can help to influence the variety and amount of vegies kids choose to eat.

“It is recommended that kids between the ages of 4 and 12 eat around five serves of vegies each day. There are a lot of reasons why so many kids are not get eating enough – perhaps they don’t have access, they don’t like the taste, they get bored with the lack of variety, or they simply lack the knowledge to make good choices about food,” says Ms. Booth. “However, events like this in the school setting, combined with positive peer influence and education around food, can improve awareness and help kids to try different types of vegies. At Healthy Kids, we like to encourage kids to ‘Eat The Rainbow’ which is one of the best ways to ensure kids are getting the different vitamins and minerals which are packed into vegetables of different colours. The aim of this event is not only to get kids excited about breaking a record, but to encourage them to try different vegies every day, ” she says.


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