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Results back fruitful schools programme

Apr 8th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

FruitsMainSCHOOLS may be dealing with major changes under the current government but there is one constant that Mt Cook teachers and pupils are thankful for – fruit.

Principal Sandra McCallum says children are happier and healthier, thanks to their daily serving of fruit from the Fruit In Schools programme.

She says eating fruit has become a way of life for the students, and has improved their overall learning.

“People who are eating well learn better as well. So I think in terms of their energy and their focus, it has an impact”

In June last year the Government announced it would continue funding Fruit in Schools, while looking at ways to reduce high administration costs of the programme.

Health Minister Tony Ryall said this would free up more than $4 million a year, which will be put towards access to cheaper doctors’ visits for young people under the Very Low Cost Access programme.

Mt Cook School has seen no impact since those changes were announced.

As a decile five school, it is one of the lower decile schools supported by the programme, which is funded by the Health Ministry, which provides a piece of fruit everyday for each student.

Ms McCallum says eating the fruit every day has also increased the students’ awareness of healthy eating, and changed their opinion on what tastes good.

“Probably after a year, we noticed a difference with the kids in terms of them coming and saying ‘are there any apples left?’, so it’s really neat.” She said.

They also have regular physical education classes, ensuring students overall fitness and health is maintained.

The Fruit in Schools programme was introduced in 2006 to promote nutritious eating and adopting healthier lifestyles for primary aged students, after the 2002 Child Nutrition Survey showed only two out of five children met the recommended daily serving of two pieces of fruit.

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Dominic Astwood-Kingi

Main Caption

EATING UP: Mt Cook School pupils, from left, Creedence Aupouri, Reuben Hansard, Daroon Jaff and Chris O’Driscoll.

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