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Back to News 27 January 2015

Crunch&Sip celebrates 10 years!

10 years

Approximately 40 Western Australian primary schools will celebrate 10 years as a Crunch&Sip School in 2015. This equates to over 21 million pieces of fruit and vegetables eaten during Crunch&Sip breaks by these schools alone!

Crunch&Sip began as a Healthway funded pilot project in the Great Southern in 2000 and as a result of its success became a state-wide program in 2005.

The schools that have successfully participated for 10 years have done so by following the Health Promoting Schools Framework by incorporating classroom practices, developing policies and engaging parents and the community - and have made positive changes to their students' health.

One such school who has been participating in daily fruit, veg and water breaks continuously for 10 years is Cranbrook Primary School. With approximately 75 students and located 100km north of Albany, the school prides itself on its strong school-parent-community links.

Principal Michael Smith reported that the benefits of Crunch&Sip  were not just restricted to developing healthy eating habits in students. "It also provides nourishment for health, growth, concentration and stamina. Students enjoy the taste of different healthy foods and it emphasises the importance of good hydration," he said.

Mr Smith highlighted the importance of having the whole school supporting the program and encourages all teachers, students and parents to get on board.

Students at Cranbrook Primary School have a clear idea as to some of the benefits too with one student reporting, "It keeps me healthy and fit. Having a water bottle at your desk means you don't get dehydrated and you also don't need to go in and out of the class to get a drink."

When asked about the inspiration for Crunch&Sip, Nutritionist Kate Hawkings and founder of the original pilot program, said "In the late 90s the research clearly showed that Australians weren't eating enough fruit and vegetables. It seemed like a daunting task to change the eating habits of all Australians so I decided to focus on the group where I thought we could have the biggest impact - school-aged children. In early 1999 I started to investigate cost-effective ways of encouraging children in the Great Southern Region to eat more fruit and vegetables. Parents I spoke to often complained that their child wouldn't eat the fruit that was packed in their lunchbox. They also told me that their children rarely drank enough water at school and often forgot unless reminded. It was from these early conversations that the simple idea of sipping water throughout the day and allocating time for a fruit or veg break in the classroom was born."

From these beginnings, Crunch&Sip is now a daily feature in over 400 WA primary schools. To see if your school is a certified Crunch&Sip school, click here.

Congratulations to all the schools who have been involved in Crunch&Sip  for 10 years!