NSW School kids are helping the planet this Fruit & Veg Month

The health of kids (and adults!) is closely tied to the health of our planet.

So, for Fruit & Veg Month 2020, NSW primary school students will journey into “Planet Fruit &Veg” and explore the world of fruit and vegetables through the lens of sustainability.

Fruit & Veg Month is a free health promotion event for NSW primary schools that puts a positive focus on fruit and vegetables for an entire month. Each year Fruit & Veg Month has a special theme to inspire kids to get interested in eating, enjoying and learning about fruit and veg. Fruit & Veg Month 2020 runs from Monday 31 August to Friday 25 September. The event is developed and administered by Healthy Kids Association and funded by NSW Ministry of Health.

“’Planet Fruit & Veg’ is probably one of the most important Fruit & Veg Month themes we’ve ever had,” says Katie Booth, Fruit & Veg Month Program Manager from Healthy Kids Association. “We need to take better care of ourselves and the planet by teaching our kids to eat more fruit and vegetables, to choose local and in-season produce and not to waste fresh food.”

Planet Fruit & Veg will teach students to think global by acting local. “As a nation, we’re not eating enough fruit and vegetables. Not only are fruit and vegetables good for our health they are good for the planet’s health too – growing fruit and vegetables tends to result in less greenhouse gas emissions and requires less water and land than many other foods.1 In addition, we are often eating fruit and vegetables out of season, so the produce has travelled long distances to get to our plates. This means poorer nutritional quality and taste at a higher cost. The air freighting of fruit and vegetables also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions,” says Ms Booth.

Kids will also learn about the drastic impact of food waste on the planet. “Food waste is a huge problem. A recent tracking survey of NSW households estimated that one-third of fresh food such as fruit and vegetables is wasted.2 Not only does this waste all the resources that go into producing it, rotting food in landfill produces greenhouse gases too.

“Planet Fruit & Veg will teach the next generation to think about the positive impact their simple actions and decisions can have on their own health and the health of our planet.”

680 schools across NSW have already registered to take on the challenge and are planning a range of adventures across Fruit & Veg Month. The Fruit & Veg Month program includes lots of free educational resources and fun activities that schools can use to support these ideas – from the classroom to the canteen. To participate, schools simply need to register at fruitandvegmonth.com.au.