National and state data tells us that the consumption of vegetables is far below recommended levels with 5 out of 6 WA kids (84%) aged 4-11 years failing to meet recommendations. Eeek! Aussie kids are also falling short with fruit consumption whilst at the same time eating an excess of energy-dense, nutrient poor foods. The high intake of sugary drinks is of particular concern, with an estimated 44% of 4-8 year olds and 49% of 9-13-year olds in Australia drinking sugar-sweetened beverages each day.
Poor dietary habits in childhood have been linked to negative health outcomes such as tooth decay and overweight and obesity. Children who carry excess weight are at higher risk of breathing difficulties, fractures, high blood pressure, early markers of cardiovascular disease, and psychological effects. These children are also more likely to continue to be overweight or obese in adulthood, increasing their risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.
The Crunch&Sip® program works in the health promoting schools framework that recognises the intersecting roles of the school environment (e.g. school policies, the school’s physical environment, and staff support for nutrition promotion), curriculum (e.g. nutrition topics taught through the formal school curriculum), and partnerships (e.g. the broader community of individuals and organisations that impact on children’s health such as parents, community members, and health promotion agencies) in encouraging children to adopt healthy behaviours.
Funded by Healthway, Cancer Council WA is extending the Crunch&Sip program to focus on parents as the leading influence in promoting healthy dietary behaviours to their children. The new parent nutrition education program will provide FREE face-to-face sessions, hard copy resources and online education tools that will include; Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, traffic light food system, serve sizes of fruits and vegetables, packing a healthy lunchbox, healthy alternatives to pre-packaged snacks, label reading, and water as the drink of choice rather than sugary drinks.
Crunch&Sip staff are busy developing program content and resources but aim to take bookings for Perth metro schools during term 3, 2019. The sessions are FREE and will run for 1 hour in your school setting. Regional sessions will be advertised later in the year.
To register your interest email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Crunch&Sip team on (08) 9212 4333.
 Epidemiology Branch. 2016. Prevalence of sufficient fruit and vegetable consumption, children 4 to 15 years, Western Australia, 2015. Perth: WA Department of Health.
 Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2014. Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results – Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12. Table 18 Consumption of Sweetened beverages.