Vic Kids Eat Well is an exciting new state-wide initiative boosting healthy food and drink options in the places children spend their time, including schools, out of school hours care, sports clubs, recreation facilities, council operated facilities and more. Vic Kids Eat Well takes a fresh new approach, making it easier, more engaging, and simpler for settings to make the switch to healthier food and drinks, and presents a unique opportunity for all of us to work together and generate a renewed interest in healthy eating.
We know how important healthy eating is. Not only does it protect against chronic disease, but a healthy diet improves mood and mental health, it equips children to stay alert, concentrate and learn better, setting them up for a successful future. Never has this been so important, as we help children to recover from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and support them to be healthy and resilient into the future.
Vic Kids Eat Well is a flagship initiative of Healthy kids, healthy futures – the Victorian Government’s five year action plan to support children and young people to be healthy, active and well. Supported by the Victorian Government, Vic Kids Eat Well is led by Cancer Council Victoria in partnership with Nutrition Australia and builds on the strengths of the Achievement Program and the Healthy Choices Guidelines.
Vic Kids Eat Well relies on the prevention and health promotion sector working together, displaying leadership, and using their unique expertise to drive change. It offers a refreshing starting point to engage community organisations in making ‘bite size’ healthy changes and deliver on healthy eating commitments by using positive values-based messaging and energetic and fun framing.
Vic Kids Eat Well focuses on four key actions (known as ‘big bites’):
- Refresh the fridge - promoting water and reducing sugary drinks
- Switch up the snacks – reducing confectionary and switching to healthier snacks
- Change up the menu – boosting healthy options
- Putting the ‘fun’ into fundraising and marketing - limiting unhealthy promotions and boosting healthy fundraising.
Participating settings will be supported with practical resources and incentives to sustain momentum and celebrate success and will be encouraged to continue their healthy eating journey through the Achievement Program and Healthy Choices Guidelines.
A new dedicated workforce of Healthy Kids Advisors will also support action in 13 Local Government Areas, which will align with the effort of the Victorian Local Government Partnership – fast track councils. Delivered by the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation and supported by the Victorian and Australian governments, Healthy Kids Advisors will work alongside the existing health promotion workforce in these communities to boost support for Vic Kids Eat Well.