Parent advocacy group, Parents’ Voice is calling on Australian supermarkets and schools to support efforts to improve children’s lunchboxes. Among more traditional methods, nude food days are growing in popularity with Australian families.
Nude food days are usually held by participating schools once or twice a week, encouraging lunchboxes to be free of disposable packaging. This results in lunches that are more environmentally friendly, and have less junk food.
Parents’ Voice Campaigns Manager: Alice Pryor, says “Our parents are very supportive of nude food days at schools. They reduce requests for junk food in lunchboxes, while still allowing for the occasional treat. They are a simple way to encourage more wholefoods, vegetables and fruits.”
“Parents are also calling for supermarkets to get on board. Most of the advertised back to school specials are kilojoule dense, nutrient poor packaged foods. It is just another hurdle for parents to overcome with when choosing foods for their kids’ lunchboxes.”
CEO of Nutrition Australia Vic Division: Lucinda Hancock, agrees that nude food days are part of the mix of tools that schools can use to encourage healthier food in lunchboxes.
“Only 5% of Australian children eat enough fruit and vegetables each day; yet nearly 40% of the energy they consume comes from ‘junk foods’ like – cakes, biscuits, lollies, fried foods and sugary drinks.”
“Packing a ‘nude’ food lunchbox is a great way to include more nutritious, minimally-processed foods that will fuel your child’s mind and body.”
Mrs Hancock said, “The key to packing a nutritious and ‘nude’ lunchbox that children will love is to include something from each food group: fruit; vegetables; grains or wholegrain foods; a protein food such as lean meat, fish, eggs or legumes; a dairy food, such as milk yoghurt or cheese; plus a bottle of water.”
“It’s also important to make sure your child’s food is stored safely and kept cool during the day! There are a number of great lunchboxes with compartments and reusable containers to safely store each individual item in the lunchbox,” Mrs Hancock said.
Lia Burton thinks everyday should be a nude food day. “As a mum of three, packing a nutritious lunchbox is something that is very close to my heart. I always aim to pack a nutritious lunchbox that is filled with healthy, yummy food and isn't full of packaging. That way, I’m more confident my children will actually eat their lunch and the wrappers will not end up strewn across the playground.”
“Nude food days are a positive way to encourage parents to take a moment and consider the type of food that they usually pack in their child's lunchbox. It's a great way to get children to try new foods, especially when the whole class is participating.”
Ms Pryor concluded “1 in 4 Australian children are overweight or obese. What children eat at school is a large potion of their daily diet. Healthy lunchboxes give them a good start to healthy habits.”
Luke Daley | T: 0433 396 064 | E: [email protected]
Alice Pryor | T: 0416 219 261 | E: [email protected]
Note to editors:
Parents’ Voice is an online network of parents who are interested in improving the food and activity environments of Australian children. Formerly known as The Parents’ Jury, Parents’ Voice was formed in 2004 and represents thousands of Australian parents. Parents’ Voice is supported by Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Victoria, VicHealth, YMCA Australia and the Bluearth Foundation.