Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Variations of the Smart Choices – Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy have been implemented into Queensland schools since 2005, but parents need to follow suit for the best outcome.

School canteens have been following healthy eating guidelines in order to prevent childhood obesity, but the foods children take for lunch and eat at home are still not reflecting the same smart choices of the strategy.

The Queensland State Government's Child Health Status 2011 Report showed a significant increase in the consumption of takeaway foods in children’s diets with 48.6 per cent eating it at least weekly.

While the report found that youth are getting more overweight and eating far less fruit and vegetables in their weekly diet, a Queensland company says it may have an answer.

Melinda Richards, CEO of natural food company Super Sprout, says having guidelines in place in schools across the state is only half the battle; the second half is following the same rules at home as well.

“Childhood obesity is becoming a serious problem and while the efforts of the Department of Education are excellent, they need to be wholly supported by parents to make a difference,” Ms Richards says.

“Kids need to have healthy options for every single meal of the day in order to turn the statistics around and show an improvement in their eating behaviour.

“When it is so simple to add the goodness of real fruit and vegies into quick and easy meals and maximise the nutritional value, there’s no reason why parents shouldn’t be doing it every day.”

Ms Richards says one of the biggest battles is addressing the needs of fussy eaters.

“Its no secret that some kids just wont eat fruit and vegies and parents can be at their wits end for what to do to implement healthy choices into their fussy kids’ meals,” Ms Richards says.

“Our range of 100 per cent pure fruit and vegetable powders retain all the nutrients, minerals and flavours as if you were buying fresh produce from your local supermarket and provide a solution to this problem.

“While we always encourage eating fresh food, the Super Sprout range can be added to food without them knowing and help kids get their two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day.”

Ms Richards says the strategies implemented throughout Queensland schools are designed to promote the healthier options, and Super Sprout wants to help parents provide these in the lunchbox meals too.

“Swapping the fatty chocolate muffins with homemade blueberry or strawberry muffins with pure fruit powders presents a healthier choice and kids still love the taste,” Ms Richards says.

“The powders in our Super Sprout range can be used sprinkled over fruit salads, ice cream and yoghurt in order to make healthy eating enjoyable for children.

“We’ve found parents are more likely to use them over fresh fruit in smoothie recipes because they add the same real fruit taste without the mess to clean up.”

The entire Super Sprout range includes broccoli sprout, wheatgrass sprout, apple, lemon, strawberry, beetroot, carrot, ginger, blueberry and barleygrass sprout and all have a shelf life of up to three months once opened.

For recipe ideas and more information about the Super Sprout range visit