Canowindra Public students sink their teeth into the Big Vegie Crunch

Approximately 140 students from Canowindra Public School participated in the Big Vegie Crunch on Tuesday. 

The school’s community liaison officer Peta Laurie says Canowindra Public School is a registered Crunch and Sip school so they encourage all students to bring some fruit or vegetables as well as a bottle of water to snack on during their morning session.

“We find that this helps the student's concentration and keeps them 'fuelled' and able to focus on learning until recess,” Ms Laurie said. 

“This was the first year our school has participated in The Big Vegie Crunch. The main reason we joined in was to encourage students to eat more vegetables.

“We have a fantastic vegetable garden at our school where students have the opportunity to plant, maintain then harvest the vegetables.

“The students also have the chance to use the vegetables they have grown in our school kitchen.

“They follow a recipe and make a variety of recipes that they then get to eat at the end!

“It was fantastic to see so many students bring in vegetables and we will definitely continue to do the Big Vegie Crunch,” she said.

Ninteen out of 20 Australian are not eating enough vegetables.

That’s according to the 2014-15 National Health Survey, which showed that while 68% of children are eating the recommended serves of fruit every day, only 5.4% are eating the recommended serves of vegetables.

Simply encouraging children to eat vegies because they are ‘healthy,’ sometimes isn’t good enough. Vegetables need to be fun and appealing to get children excited about eating them.

So the Healthy Kids Association, with the support of NSW Health, organises The Big Vegie Crunch – a record-breaking attempt to have the most Aussie kids eating vegies simultaneously.

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

“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,” she says.