When so many types of cancer are preventable through a healthy diet, the Eat It To Beat It program is urging parents to tackle the problem at the root: the school lunchbox.
Cancer Council Eat It To Beat It program co-ordinator Aimee Johnston said 5 to 12 per cent of cancers could be avoided if locals ate the right amount of fruit and vegetables.
She said 90 per cent of adults did not eat their required two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables each day.
“Part of that is not knowing, so we want to instil that at a very young age so it becomes a part of normal life,” Miss Johnston said.
“There’s a perception that it’s difficult to pack a healthy lunchbox – we want to show it is easy and cheaper than junk food.”
She said there were lots of fun and healthy options for children’s lunchboxes, including cherry tomatoes, corn on the cob, mashed avocado and baked vegetables.
A serve of fruit equates to one medium piece (an apple), two small pieces (apricots) or a cup of chopped fruit, while a serve of vegetables is equivalent to half a cup of cooked vegetables or legumes, half a medium potato or a cup of salad.
“When you are eating lunch at school for 13 years, you want to make sure you do it right,” Miss Johnston said.
Schools can register Cancer Council volunteers to provide information – including a handy flipbook – about the Eat It To Beat It program during kindergarten orientation.
To register your school, contact Aimee Johnston on 6639 1306 or go to www.eatittobeatit.com.au