Shining a light on the Crunch&Sip® program

Mikala Atkinson, Nutritionist

You may have seen the ABC article with Dr Kyla Smith published 21 March 2022; essentially it talks about healthy eating messaging for children, lunchbox audits in schools and the Crunch&Sip® program.

Crunch&Sip ® is an in-class nutrition program conducted by Cancer Council WA which is designed to provide WA children with the opportunity to snack on additional serves of fruit and vegetables and sip on water.

The Crunch&Sip® program aims to:

  • Boost energy and concentration between the scheduled meal breaks (recess and lunch)
  • Increase the amount of vegetables and fruit that children eat
  • Provide a space for positive peer modelling and encourage adventurous eating.

We are sad to hear that some schools are mistakenly stopping for a Crunch&Sip® break during recess and not allowing children access to their lunchbox food that has been packed from home. We can confirm that our Crunch&Sip® program and our lunchbox education sessions ‘Packed with Goodness’ do not endorse or encourage lunchbox audits or teachers controlling children’s access to their foods at recess and lunch. 

Crunch&Sip® breaks should occur during class time and can provide WA children access to 30 million additional serves of vegetables and fruit per year (based on every child at a participating school eating a serve of vegetables or fruit for Crunch&Sip® every school day).

Packed with Goodness

Our Packed with Goodness sessions provide parents with access to ideas, inspiration and alternatives when packing a lunchbox. The program aims to counter the aggressive marketing of ultra-processed foods as lunch box snacks. The ultra-processed food industry spends millions of dollars annually on marketing targeting parents and children with items for lunchboxes which add no nutritional value.

When packing lunchboxes, parents are instead encouraged to focus on drawing from the core food groups in whatever way suits their family/child – because if it is all healthy food then it does not matter what order children eat their food in or what they reach for. There is no one size fits all model. The parent sessions are designed to provide support for those who are seeking it.

Do you need support?

Parents who are concerned with how Crunch&Sip® is being implemented at their school are encouraged to speak directly with them and are welcome to contact for support.