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Brandon Intermediate School

This school challenged students with investigating the fat content of a typical mince pie. Students dissected, weighed, and measured ingredients, and checked to see whether they matched manufacturers’ claims. The result was a class of students who were disgusted at the fat content of pies, inspiring them to create a new pie made with a bread base, more meat, and less gravy.

Parents and caregivers were invited to a health meeting which included workshops on mental health and food and nutrition. Popular Pacific Island dishes were served at this meeting, using low-fat and low-salt recipes from the Pacific Island Heart Foundation’s cookbook.

A relevant food and nutrition policy has been developed and it has had a positive impact on the food sold in the school. The canteen has introduced new dishes, including mouse traps, toasted sandwiches, filled roll combos, and home-made mini pizza subs. Healthy foods are sold at very competitive prices, starting from just 50 cents. Only low-fat meats are used in the sandwiches and rolls, and the skin is removed from chicken. The availability of foods high in sugar, salt, and fat is limited. The canteen no longer sells crisps and has increased the availability of milk and milk products.

Apples and watermelons are bought in bulk when they are in season, so they may be sold at affordable prices. Parents are informed about the healthy foods available in the canteen via newsletters throughout the year.

During term, every class that ran assembly put a healthy foods advertisement into the assembly programme. These involved skits, PowerPoint presentations, and posters. Each class brainstormed a different healthy food message. One example was a skit with two runners, one of them eating healthy food, the other one not. During the race, the importance of diet was made clear in some highly exaggerated results. Performances like this lifted the profile of the health messages, created debate both in class and assembly, and were fun – so students felt good about promoting and receiving the healthy food messages, and ideas were discussed in the playgrounds.