Healthy Choices


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Daily Routines

A guide for parents lunch and snack planning

Students start with a fruit and veggie snack at 10.00 am and they eat while they work. They hydrate using their drink bottle during the day. At recess, food is taken out of its wrapper which is put straight back in the student’s lunchbox. They then take something outside to eat just before play.

Parents are encouraged to send snacks like muesli bars and crackers to school in a container, without wrapping. Students only take their lunch boxes outside with them if needed, and put them in a tub that sits outside their classroom when they have finished.

Around 12.30 pm some children have another piece of fruit or snack while they work before their lunch eating time commencing 12.50 pm - 1.00 pm (eating time). At lunch, students who have not finished when the bell goes take their lunch boxes out with them and put them in their class tub when they have finished.  The class usually eat inside for the 10 minutes before going out for 'big play'.

Over time our school has implemented the Victorian Health Promoting Schools Framework. We take a whole school approach to working towards achieving health priority areas.

Eight health priorities

  • Healthy eating and oral health
  • Physical activity
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Safe environments
  • Alcohol tobacco and other drugs
  • Sun protection
  • Sexual health and wellbeing

What food to pack?

If your child's lunch is returning home uneaten, it may be that he doesn't have time to eat his food before his friends want to play. Try cutting the sandwich into quarters, rather than halves, so he can at least finish some lunch before play begins.

The following are suggestions for a wholegrain-bread sandwich (or you can use pita bread, a baguette or rice cakes)

  • cheese, lettuce and chutney
  • Swiss cheese and sliced gherkin (pickled cucumber)
  • cottage cheese or ricotta and dates
  • brie cheese and cranberry sauce
  • pita bread pockets, roll-ups or Turkish bread with lean meat or falafel and salad
  • curried egg or mashed boiled egg and lettuce
  • chicken, mayonnaise and celery

A piece of fruit added to the lunch box is a good idea.

You can peel and cut a kiwi fruit and put it in a separate container. If your child doesn't have time to eat a whole apple during lunch, quarter it and squeeze some lemon juice over to prevent browning by lunch time. Bananas come in their own easy-to-peel packaging.

Your child gets thirsty running around the playground. The children have access to use Aquabubblers wqhen they play outside.

Our school is committed to supporting nutritional foods for our students. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a vital part of every child’s life.  At Eltham North children are actively encouraged to:


  • Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruit
  • Eat plenty of cereals, preferably wholegrain
  • Include lean meat, fish, poultry
  • Include milk, yoghurt, cheese (reduced fat varieties should be encouraged for older children)
  • Choose water as a drink

    It is recommended that young children consume at least one serve of fruit and 2 serves of vegetables every day.  

Additional resources and reading about school lunches and heathy eating:
Nutrition Australia
The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Our Journey

As a 5 Star Sustainable School, Eltham North felt that joining the Healthy Eating Schools program was an ideal way to integrate both environmental and healthy eating practices and behaviours.

We promoted action and change within the school, incorporating nutrition studies across different learning areas.

We have incorporated fruit and vegetable breaks in class; the use of water fountains and water bottles for classrooms (hydration program) and included breakfast activities as special events.

We have vegetable gardens and grow herbs. Three orchard areas have been planted with stone and citrus fruits. Student environmental leaders have been instrumental in creating an active sustainable environment. The school website and displays in the atrium promote the Good Food Guide and healthy lunch boxes. To minimise waste and promote recycling we encourage children not to bring packaging in their lunch boxes.

The school is committed to healthy fundraising ideas.

Goals and achievements

Information on healthy lunches and healthy eating for children has been provided to families in the form of newsletter inserts, healthy lunchbox posters, a photographic healthy lunchbox display, newsletters and emails reaching all families. What are the lasting benefits of the project?

Changes to healthier lunchboxes have included an increase in fruit and vegetables, changes to higher fibre foods and a decrease in high fat, nutrient poor packaged snacks. Parents have reported increased skills and practice in reading labels and choosing healthier products at the supermarket and increased knowledge of food and drink.

Our evaluation of feedback has reported an increased capacity, awareness and commitment in providing and promoting healthy food choices. Sustainability strategies employed by the Program are providing us with resources that allow school staff to continue to maintain the healthy eating messages and education.