Dunedin North Intermediate year 7 pupil Avi Spiegel (12)
tucks into a healthy dessert option - rhubarb crumble with
yoghurt. Supplied photo.
Dunedin school tuck shops are still selling pies, but
these days the children are more likely to be eating a healthy
chicken and vegetable pie than the traditional steak and
After the Heart Foundation won the Ministry of Health
contract to provide nutritional information to schools in
2011, it launched the Fuelled4Life programme.
Since Fuelled4Life started, 39 out of the 73 schools in
Dunedin have signed up - seven high schools, three
intermediates and 29 primary schools.
Registered schools were sent a tuck shop buyers' guide, which
recommends various food products for their nutritional value
and low fat content.
Dunedin North Intermediate canteen manager Daphne Glover said
the school canteen was in a transitional period. It would be
able to offer only Fuelled4Life-approved food by the end of
the first term.
As it stood, the canteen sold 15 items, most of which were
approved by the guide. Pies were still on the menu but these
were low-fat pies with the Heart Foundation tick. Nothing was
deep fried and excess oils were avoided.
The transition to healthy foods had not been very expensive
as most of the food sold at the canteen was made at the
school, Mrs Glover said. Eventually, the canteen would only
sell food cooked at the school.
Food technologist Nathanja Gingerich said food technology
class recipes that had proved popular with pupils had already
been added to the canteen menu.
Green Island School principal Steve Haywood said his school
had adopted policies aimed at keeping its pupils healthy,
although teachers were not intended to be ''the food
The school had no canteen but pupils could order in food from
an outside provider. Pies could only be ordered on Fridays.
The school had also been a ''water-only'' school for 10
years, fizzy drink being allowed only on special occasions.
Green Island was a mid-decile school so it was not eligible
for the fruit-in-schools programme. It had signed up for
Fonterra's milk-in-schools programme.
Aurora Cafe provides tuck shop services to four Mosgiel
schools without their own canteens.
All 17 items on the cafe's menu are approved by the
Fuelled4Life buyers' guide.
The cheapest item is a piece of fruit for $1 while the most
expensive is sushi or a wrap costing $4.
''We keep it to child-size portions to make it as cheap for
them as possible,'' Aurora Cafe owner Jillian Peacock said.
Heart Foundation food and beverage classification systems
manager Sally Hughes said the Heart Foundation was working
hard to sign up all of Dunedin's schools.
''The evidence shows children who are poorly nourished have
fewer learning opportunities,'' she said.
According to the foundation, one-third of children aged from
2 to 14 years are overweight, which increased their chance of
contracting type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease and
common cancers and was a major risk factor in strokes.
Ms Hughes acknowledged affordability of food was a huge issue
for schools and parents but said smart shopping and buying in
bulk could make healthy food a viable option.
''It's a misconception that healthy food is more expensive,''
''Takeaways are also expensive. Making a hamburger at home is
a lot cheaper than buying it at [a takeaway shop].''
- Jonathan Chilton-Towle