Cancer Council NSW launches Healthy Lunch Box tool

A screenshot of the Cancer Council NSW's new Healthy Lunch Box tool.
A screenshot of the Cancer Council NSW's new Healthy Lunch Box tool.

ONE child eats thousands of lunches at school during their education, and Cancer Council NSW aims to ease that chore while also encouraging healthy eating.

With little more than three weeks until the start of the school year, it has launched a tool to make it easier for Tamworth parents to create a healthy school lunch.

The new Healthy Lunch Box website features an interactive lunchbox builder so parents and kids can plan healthy school meals and snacks on a PC, smartphone or tablet.

The site also has recipes, ideas and tips, and aims to help families pack a lunchbox that kids will love to eat while promoting behaviour that has lifelong cancer-prevention benefits.

Cancer Council NSW’s nutrition project officer Juanita Nantes said parents wanted to ensure they were providing kids with the energy and nutrients they needed to learn and play.

“With one child eating about 2500 lunches throughout their years at school, many parents report that packing lunchboxes can be a chore, especially when it comes to getting kids enthusiastic about healthy options such as fruit and vegetables,” Ms Nantes said.

“The lunchbox builder is a great way to get your kids involved and excited about what they’ll find in their lunchbox each day.”

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Ms Nantes said one of the most important tips was to add more fruits and vegetables.

“[This] is a simple way to ensure children are getting the vitamins, minerals and fibre they need to fuel concentration in the classroom – and the cancer prevention benefits of eating a healthy and balanced diet are so important, too.”

She said even adults might find inspiration for their own lunches.

The site has been launched with the help of Outrun Cancer, a not-for-profit group that aims to spur people to take steps to prevent cancer, and is part of Cancer Council NSW’s Eat It To Beat It program.

The program includes free sessions and workshops in Tamworth, Gunnedah and Narrabri for parents of primary-aged schoolchildren, helping them to understand why fruit and vegetables are so important.

The statistics for children

Figures provided by Cancer Council NSW show that one in three cancer cases can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight. 

But only 7 per cent of NSW children eat enough vegetables, and 22 per cent of children are overweight or obese.