Benefits beyond health

Funny face salad

We often hear of health benefits of fruit and vegetables, but what about better behaviour and being more alert?

Most people will have heard something of the ‘Fruit in Schools’ programme - it provides fresh fruit (and vegetables) to 480 low-decile schools.  There is plenty of international evidence to say such programmes improve nutrition and reduce obesity in children, but the evaluation of the NZ program has found even more benefits, far beyond nutritional ones.  Principals agreed that they were seeing an academic benefit as well.  Of the principals:

  • 74% said there was an increase in concentration in class
  • 46% said that there were fewer behavior problems
  • 66% said there was an improvement in overall health

It also influenced the home environment in a positive way, with 44% saying that ‘many families’ were having less sugary drinks and junk food in their lunch boxes.

So as the school year begins, make sure your children’s lunch boxes include plenty of fruit and vegetables, so they can set the right foot forward for the academic year ahead.

If you need some inspiration for your lunch boxes, see this previous blog for great ideas:

http://www.vegetables.co.nz/your_family/blog/index.php/snack-time/

 

The ‘Fruit in Schools’ Programme is managed by United Fresh.