Amy Skerman and Grace McIlroy enjoy a healthy snack on their daily fruit break.
Amy Skerman and Grace McIlroy enjoy a healthy snack on their daily fruit break. Georja Ryan

Fruit-fuelled learning

SINCE 2005, schools have had red lights up for red foods, with sugary treats and fatty snacks banned from canteens and lunch boxes.

While the schools are doing their part to prevent obesity and encourage healthy eating, it's parents who need to keep the ball rolling to ensure the best outcome.

Warwick East State School principal Warren Elder said although he had not had much of an issue with parents packing unhealthy lunches, the school encouraged parents to pack fruit on a daily basis.

"They get small amounts for treats from time to time, but mostly they're quite good," Mr Elder said.

"Our kids have a fruit break at 10am every day," he said.

"So then they have an apple or banana for 10 minutes which encourages families to send along fruit for their children."

He said the fruit break not only re-energised students, but kept them full until their next break.

Dietician/nutritionist Elia Faa said when packing school lunch boxes, it was vital for the child's well-being that fatty foods were avoided.

"When choosing anything, always go with the wholegrain option," Ms Faa said.

She said each lunch box should contain a variety of fruit, vegetables and protein.

Breakfasts also have long been a contentious issue of debate.

Ms Faa said a low GI breakfast was the best option and would keep children full for longer.

Special K, porridge, muesli and eggs were good options.

Year 2 students Amy Skerman and Grace McIlroy said their lunch boxes were usually packed with sandwiches, fruit and only rarely some special treats.



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