Records broken during 2019 Great Vegie Crunch

Bullcreek students enjoying The Great Vegie Crunch

WA primary schools crunch at record levels

Cancer Council WA’s 2019 Great Vegie Crunch was enjoyed across WA primary schools last month with record numbers of students crunching away on vegetables.

The annual Great Vegie Crunch took place from Monday 9 September to Friday 13 September at primary schools across the state with students simultaneously crunching on fresh vegetables to raise their ‘crunch-o-meters’ off the charts.

The initiative is led by Cancer Council WA’s Crunch&Sip® program who had been hoping for a record-breaking year to surpass the previous best of 27,402 students set in 2017.

A record-breaking 112 schools totalling 29,480 students across WA registered for the Great Vegie Crunch, which is supported by the Agricultural Produce Commission and Healthway.

Congratulations go to Parkfield Primary School for winning the $500 voucher to their local electrical store for registering before the August 25 deadline. 

Woodanilling Primary School also won a $300 voucher to their local electrical or hardware store for completing the post-event feedback survey. Southlake Primary School won the $200 voucher, while Anne Hamersley, Spearwood and Woodbridge Primary School all won kitchen kits.

There was plenty of positive feedback from the anonymous survey, with teachers finding the event was a great way to get the whole school together to eat fresh produce.

“It was an event which encouraged vegetables to become a part of our daily Crunch&Sip® time. A very worthwhile activity which brought the whole school together to enjoy crunching together,” one said.

Feedback from teachers highlighted the event as being a great way to get children to try new vegetables with one teacher stating: “Students experienced vegetables they had not tasted before. For some it was capsicum, for others it was mushroom. Cauliflower was a big hit with all students.”

Another stated: “We are in a low socio economic catchment area and the children from Kindergarten to Year 10, all received platters of vegetables. Some students said that they had not eaten cauliflower before, so we were really happy to provide our students with healthy, crunchy vegetables that they had not experienced before.”

Cancer Council WA Schools Nutrition Coordinator Shannon Wright explained the rationale behind the Great Vegie Crunch was creating healthy habits early in life.

“The Great Vegie Crunch is a fun way to establish healthy eating habits early for children,” Mrs Wright said.

“Research shows that WA kids are eating plenty of fruit but only one in six WA primary school children are getting their recommended daily intake of vegetables.

“Getting your recommended daily intake of vegetables and fruit helps physical and mental performance and promotes long term health too.

“Our record breaking numbers for this year’s Great Vegie Crunch show that this fun way to encourage children to eat these essential foods is resonating among WA primary schools.”

Schools that registered for the Crunch&Sip® event received a range of online resources to integrate vegetable and fruits literacy into their students’ education, as well as classroom giveaways such as bouncy balls, pencils and key-rings.