Q. Do we need to be having Crunch&Sip® breaks, have a Crunch&Sip® committee or a policy in place to register for the program?
A. No. Registration is the first step towards participating in Crunch&Sip®. By registering with Healthy Kids you can receive resources and support to help your school begin fruit and veg breaks, form a committee or write a policy.
Q. How much does it cost to register for Crunch&Sip®?
A. Crunch&Sip® is a FREE program, with all resources provided. However, if schools decide to provide their students with fruit and vegetables for the Crunch&Sip® break, they are responsible for meeting any associated cost of the produce.
Q. Only a couple of classes in my school want to participate in Crunch&Sip®. Can we still register?
A. Definitely! A good way to encourage other classes to participate in Crunch&Sip® is to set a good example. Never underestimate peer group pressure and “pester power”! If students in classes not doing Crunch&Sip® realise how much your class enjoys their break, they are likely to pester their teachers to participate.
There is information available, such as brochures that may help you persuade fellow teachers. They can be downloaded from the Additional Resources page.
Q. Students at my school do not have access to good quality, affordable fruit and vegetables. Can we still participate in Crunch&Sip®?
A. There are several solutions to this problem. Try the following:
- Approach the P&C Committee to see if they can provide funding to buy fruit and vegetables for the Crunch&Sip® break
- Unsweetened canned or preserved fruit in juice is a great option. Small tubs are perfectly sized for a Crunch&Sip® break, or you can buy large tins and divide it across the week.
- Dried fruit (in small amounts). Small boxes of sultanas, dried apricot or apple are readily available. Make sure students wash down their dried fruit with lots of water, as dried fruit can cling to the teeth and encourage tooth decay.
- Seek donations or cost price bulk fruit and vegetables from local grocers, growers or wholesalers. If your community has a large supermarket, approach them to see if they offer community grants to purchase fruit and vegetables or a donation of fresh fruit or vegetables or canned fruit.
Q. What can I do when there are students who don’t bring fruit or vegetables for Crunch&Sip® break?
A. If students are not bringing fruit or vegetables because they forget, try reminding them every afternoon before they leave. Include articles and snippets in newsletters or send a letter home to parents.
- Share fruit and vegetables in the classroom. Some schools chop up all the fruit and vegetables brought in for Crunch&Sip® and allow each student to have a few pieces each. This has the added benefit of allowing students to try new fruits and vegetables.
- Your school canteen could open before school to sell fruit and vegetables to students at a reduced price.
- Your school could purchase a small amount of fruit and vegetables to provide to students who don’t bring any.
- Start a school vegetable garden or plant fruit trees to provide fruit and vegetables. This has the added benefits of teaching students where fruit and vegetables come from, and can link with environmental education and/or science lessons.
Q. Is there any funding available or grants we can apply for to help us begin Crunch&Sip®?
A. Many large supermarkets, financial institutions and other retailers offer community funding to cover programs in schools. Some fruit and vegetable retailers or wholesalers may also provide donations to schools.
In addition, there are several sources of funding (including some local councils and waste collection companies) that offer environmental grants that can be used to establish vegetable gardens or fruit orchards in schools.
Schools should try contacting organisations in their area, or search the internet for sources of funding in their area. A handy website for this purpose has been set up by the NSW Government, and can be found here.
Some Area Health Services offer start-up grants for school health or nutrition programs periodically. Contact your local Health Promotion, Nutrition or Community Health Department for information specific to your area.
Q. My school wants to provide drink bottles for students. What do I need to consider before doing this?
A. The NSW Centre for Oral Health Strategy (COHS) recommends that drink bottles for children should not be a pop top style, as children often open them with their teeth. COHS recommends that bottles should have a screw or twist top that cannot be opened with the teeth.
Also, you may want to consider having clear bottles, so that you can see if there’s something other than water in them. Remember, plain water is the only drink allowed for Crunch&Sip®.
It's the end of the year! Have you got everything in order to start next year off on the right foot? Here's a checklist you can use. Enjoy the holidays!