Ballarat Grammar supports wellbeing with the Healthy Schools Achievement Program

Wednesday 22 November, 2023

Ballarat Grammar School’s comprehensive approach to wellbeing has recently been boosted as they embraced a new movement to offer their 1800 students delicious and healthy options in the canteen.

People holding up the Vic Kids Eat Well rewards cards

They joined the state-wide Vic Kids Eat Well initiative with local support from Ballarat Community Health (BCH). Just nine months on, a whooping 90% of the canteen’s offerings now contain vegetables, up from 50%.

Ballarat Grammar’s Deputy Head of the Senior School, Sandra Warwick said she joined Vic Kids Eat Well so the school could be guided to provide tasty, nutritious meals to students and to add variety to the canteen with renewed momentum after being dedicated Achievement Program members for many years. The Achievement Program is a free health and wellbeing framework aligned to the World Health Organization's Health Promoting Schools model.

“Keeping in regular contact with our health promoters at BCH has been an enormous support for me. Through the Achievement Program we’ve had a broad long-term approach to wellbeing; to refresh our canteen with simple tips, Vic Kids Eat Well slotted in perfectly,” she said.

As part of Vic Kids Eat Well, the students at Ballarat Grammar now enjoy new menu items like breakfast frittata with roasted pumpkin, fetta, and eggs; vegetarian salads and rolls with roasted vegetables and chickpeas, fresh sushi, frozen yoghurt and fresh Greek yoghurt. The school’s drink range has also expanded to include low sugar options and sparkling mineral water.

A fridge full of healthy food

Pursuing healthy hydration as part of the Achievement Program meant soft drinks, sports drinks with sugar and other sugary drinks had already been removed from the school’s canteen and vending machines.

“We have a strong connection with our BCH health promoters Tameaka Lakey and Alexandra Bell. They sat down with our canteen working group to review our menu and helped us select simple Vic Kids Eat Well improvements to adopt. We met several times to look at different options that could be suitable under the Vic Kids Eat Well initiative,” Mrs Warwick said.

“The number of students, and even staff, purchasing meals from our canteen has increased significantly since we made improvements through Vic Kids Eat Well. This talks to the appetite we have for delicious and colourful meals and snacks that make us feel good,” she said.

Vic Kids Eat Well is supported by the Victorian Government and is delivered by Cancer Council Victoria’s Achievement Program, in partnership with Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service.

Fruit top greek yoghurt packs in the fridge