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Helpful hints from Crunch&Sip teachers

Champion teachers from Crunch&Sip schools have given their advice and top tips on how to make Crunch&Sip a success!

"To minimise waste of food scraps, all classes are given a scrap bucket for use during Crunch&Sip. Students then feed the scraps to the school chickens. The eggs laid by the chickens are sold to the school community."

"To ensure students bring Crunch&Sip every day they are rewarded with a classroom reward. I have also created a Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) tally checklist that the students use to tick themselves off with the special pen (they love using the IWB). Our waste goes into the classroom buckets which we cut and mash to feed to the worms.  We also encourage students to use 'Nude Food' containers if bringing chopped up fruit and veg. We have set a class time and go outside with the other class in our year level and sit under the shady tree to eat our Crunch&Sip. This allows all the students in the year level to spend a little time together, provides fresh air and 'brain food' to keep them going."

"When we do the roll in the mornings, the students hold up or call out which type of fruit/veg they have brought in."

"Our Crunch&Sip is traditionally at 2:00pm-ish - current students do not know the school without Crunch&Sip so almost 100% of our kids have something.  I often read to them for 10 minutes while they Crunch&Sip. Waste goes to worm farm or chooks!"

"Right from day one we monitor the contribution made to the vegie and fruit bowl right by the entrance. We thank the students and acknowledge the contribution by talking about it - eg 'Thank you for the large green crunchy apple Jane', 'WOW John, that piece of broccoli will be yummy to munch on today' etc.  Parents soon realise that they too want to be praised. It is referred to as brain food, smart food, healthy food etc.  Fruit is available to munch and crunch from morning mat until recess (if it lasts that long) and then as a whole class or in small groups prior to leaving for the day, we all eat our fruit & veg and talk about the days events. Drink bottles are inside the classroom and students are directed to them after recess, lunch, sport, fitness, mat sessions, activity groups, story telling and goodbye time."

"We have made Crunch&Sip a whole school program, co-ordinated by the Phys Ed and Health Specialist. We have a whole school break at 1:50 - 1:55pm. In terms 1 and 3 we have a Fruit and Veg Week where we offer fruit and veg platters each day for tasting. We also hire a fruit/veg dress up costume as well as a daily quiz. Crunch&Sip is always the first topic during Health lessons in first term. Children who participate in Crunch&Sip are acknowledged early in the term."

"I encourage students in my classroom to try something new for the 'Crunch' each week. We all try to drink at least 1L of water during school hours each day (including myself!) and more on Phys Ed days."

"We include updates on Crunch&Sip in the class newsletters and students have made their own class rules about Crunch&Sip e.g. wash fruit first/water only.Some classes have a shared fruit bowl and each class has been allocated a kitchen garden. Students eat fruit during silent reading after the lunch break. Students are also given fruit during whole school events, such as our resiliency and road safety forum, which is provided by the canteen."

"We are a split kindy/pre-primary class and we incorporate sharing fruit time with our Crunch&Sip break.  We look at the fruits and vegetables we are going to be sharing and what might be different that we haven't tasted before.  We have the children's individual bottles labelled and they sit on a named apple tag.  This gives the kids ease and ownership over the Crunch&Sip break.  The biggest tip I could give would be to role model and be enthusiastic as a teacher. If you are sitting eating a mars bar whilst the children Crunch&Sip they are less likely to be enthusiastic themselves. And most important just have fun with it and don't see it as 'just another thing teachers have to do'. Without doubt it will benefit your students social and academic achievements."

"My Crunch&Sip tips are:

  • Regularly promote Crunch&Sip at assemblies.
  • Promote Crunch&Sip in newsletters at the beginning of each term.
  • Promote Crunch&Sip through classroom parent information booklets. A Crunch&Sip pamphlet can be given to each new family on enrollment to the school.
  • Have fruit available through breakfast club coordinators/Foodbank for those who don't bring it. Additional fruit might be available through the Aboriginal Education Officer.
  • Participate in Kick Start to Crunch&Sip and Fruit & Veg September.
  • We have established a vegetable patch and are growing different fruits. Classes take turns on a roster basis to plant new seedlings, to water and weed the garden. We applied for a Health Department grant last year to help us set up a fully functioning kitchen in our old canteen building complete with workstations, fridges, ovens and microwaves. Classes can use the kitchen to prepare healthy snacks/food using produce from our garden.
  • We encourage younger children to bring in fruit sticks and vegetable sticks as they are easier to eat." 

"We encourage the students to have a ten minutes break in the afternoon or morning to have a healthy snack. No fruit or veg or water bottles means they can't have the break outside having a chat with friends. It soon makes them bring healthy snacks as they love the extra time outside."

"Each classroom has the Crunch&Sip break @ 10.00 poster near the classroom clock. Students and teachers keep an eye on the time and can't wait for Crunch&Sip time. We also have an afternoon break as most of our students travel to and from school by bus for up to an hour and half! All teachers and students endeavour to participate in Crunch&Sip. If they forget we store extra items in the staffroom fridge."

NEXT: Nutrition support for your classroom