You may have seen the ABC article with Dr Kyla Smith published 21 March 2022; essentially it talks about healthy eating messaging for children, lunchbox audits in schools and the Crunch & Sip program.
WASCA confirms that schools are required to follow the Department of Education’s Healthy Food and Drink policy (i.e. in the canteen and classroom activities); the policy does not include lunchboxes, nor do we recommend lunchbox audits.
Furthermore, Crunch & Sip® is an in-class nutrition program conducted by Cancer Council WA which is designed to provide WA children with the opportunity to snack on additional serves of fruit and vegetables and sip on water. The program aims to:
- Boost energy and concentration between the scheduled meal breaks
- Increase the amount of vegetables and fruit that children eat
- Provide a space for positive peer modelling and encourage adventurous eating.
According to the Cancer Council WA, Crunch & Sip® and lunchbox education sessions ‘Packed with Goodness’ do not encourage lunchbox audits or teachers controlling children’s access to their foods at recess and lunch. Crunch&Sip® breaks allow WA children to eat 30 million additional serves of vegetables and fruit per year (based on every child at a participating school eating a serve of vegetables or fruit for Crunch&Sip® every school day). Crunch&Sip® also aims to counter the aggressive marketing of ultra-processed foods as lunch box snacks. The ultra-processed food industry spends millions of dollars annually on marketing targeting parents and children with items for lunchboxes which add no nutritional value.
When packing lunchboxes, parents are encouraged to focus on drawing from the core foods groups in whatever way suits their family/child – because if it is all healthy food then it does not matter what order children eat their food in/what they reach for.
Parents who are concerned with how Crunch&Sip® is being implemented at their school are encouraged to speak directly with them and are welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for support.