Loganholme State School students are getting a daily dose of healthy fruit and vegetables thanks to a garden-to-plate nutrition education program that’s inspiring the bulk of the school to make healthier choices.
Life Ed Queensland’s Healthy Eats program was introduced to the school after teachers noticed many lunch boxes were lacking nutritious essentials.
“A lot of our students were not exposed to healthy lunches and also had poor menu options before school, so that was what spurred us on,” deputy principal Renee Child said.
A year after adopting the program, abundant herb and vegetable gardens thrive alongside play areas.
The school’s tuckshop has been recognised with a five-star rating by the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops (QAST), a big jump from the previous score of just one star.
The school tuckshop uses produce from the veggie gardens in lunchtime salads, and savvy menu marketing has made snacks like apple slinkies and frozen pineapple hula-hoops a hit with students.
Year 6 student Maddison Bass loves the new tuckshop menu and says eating healthy fuels her passion for dance.
“Before, there were lots of unhealthy foods like hotdogs but now there are salads, and a lot more fruit. I like the frozen yoghurt bars,” she said.
Year 5 student Kruiz Neads enjoys watering, nurturing and picking the school’s veggie crop, but has also turned into a green thumb at home.
“I’m growing my own garden now because the Healthy Eats program has inspired me to, and I’m eating healthier recipes. We are growing strawberries, carrots and bananas,” he said.
Life Ed Queensland nutritionist Jaclyn Coffey led the school’s Healthy Eats journey, engaging students, teachers and parents in a raft of fun, accessible activities to improve the school food environment and encourage youngsters to get their two and five.
“Healthy Eats is much more than a one-off nutrition session or a simple veggie garden project,” Ms Coffey said.
“We work closely with participating schools and partners like QAST and Bunnings across the entire year to provide a toolkit of ideas tailored to the school’s unique environment and circumstances.
“Loganholme is a great example of how the program can change mindsets and habits, and it’s been so exciting to empower the school community to embed activities that are making a big difference to children’s health.”
Brain breaks in the classroom, nutrition sessions for students and teachers, tuckshop menu reviews, parent education, lunchbox recipe ideas and student leadership teams, are just some of the Healthy Eats initiatives helping kids learn that healthy food doesn’t have to be boring.
Deputy principal Renee Child says the whole program has had a positive impact.
“The teachers have noticed that there’s been a lot more settled behaviour within the classrooms, which is great,” Ms Child said. “And obviously, the more settled they are, the more focused they are.”
Loganholme State School has embraced Life Ed Queensland’s Healthy Eats program which is changing the menu across the whole school community. (L-R) Pearl Murphy – Yr 1, Deputy Principal Renee Child, Hannah Jamesion – Yr 1, Life Ed Queensland nutritionist Jaclyn Coffey, Kruiz Neads – Yr 5 & Layla Trevathan-Christie, Yr 1.