School Mealtimes aims to create safe and empowering school food environments that help school-aged children to become confident, adventurous eaters.

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School Mealtimes Let’s support our kids to eat well at school

We all want our kids to be healthy. Parents, teachers and schools are wanting the same outcomes. That's a given.

But increasingly, we're seeing signs that we might be going about this in the wrong way.

  • Our rates of childhood overweight have stabilised, but our rates of eating disorders are sky rocketing. One third of Australian teenagers report some form of disordered eating.
  • Parents are increasingly stressed about packing an 'appropriate' lunchbox.
  • Teachers feel under pressure to 'get' children to eat well at school.

But this is too important to just 'do what we think might be best'. This is the physical and mental health of our next generation at stake.

We owe it to our kids to know better, and then do better. We can't just be accidentally causing harm because this is how we've always done it.

Let's be the change.

As a community there are lots of ways we can support this generation to become confident, adventurous eaters who have a positive relationship with food and their bodies.

We can help our children grow into teens and adults who:

  • Enjoy a wide variety of foods
  • Listen to their hunger and fullness cues
  • Feel in control around all types of food
  • Feel comfortable in their bodies

School Mealtimes What could it look like?

Parents and caregivers who:

  • Send a range of foods to school
  • Role model confident, adventurous eating at home
  • Demonstrate body respect
  • Advocate for their child’s needs
  • Trust their child to eat freely
  • Trust teachers to support their child

Teachers and schools who:

  • Create a safe eating environment at school
  • Model positive attitudes towards food, health and bodies
  • Protect children from food and body shaming, nutrition misinformation and diet-talk
  • Support children to eat freely from their lunchboxes during dedicated mealtimes

Health Professionals who:

  • Work with children and parents to support confident, adventurous eaters
  • Offer consistent, evidenced based care, in line with these principles

Which leads to

Children who:

  • Choose happily from their lunchbox
  • Eat as much as they need to be full
  • Are free from feelings of guilt, shame or fear around food
  • Feel confident to try new foods, in their own time
Which leads to

Some of this will be challenging for us. We might need to unlearn some old rules about food and our bodies. We will need to trust our children to make decisions that we are used to making for them. It won’t be perfect. But it will be worthwhile.

Change is coming. Let’s work together to bring it in.

Mealtimes Join the School Mealtimes movement!

School Mealtimes aims to create safe and empowering school food environments that help school-aged children to become confident, adventurous eaters.

What can you do right now?


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Freebies for parents, teachers, schools and childcare centres:

  • Open letter to schools
  • Handout for parents
  • Normal eating in childhood
  • Suggested school policy
  • Newsletter graphic
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