HEALTHY lunches are on the menu at Echuca East Primary School.
The healthy lunchbox challenge encourages students to bring healthy food to school every day for eight weeks, with weekly winners receiving a certificate and a voucher for The Pear Tree.
Echuca East principal Lyn Strachan said the school was passionate about encouraging healthy eating and the challenge was a fun way to do it.
‘‘We aim to celebrate and encourage, not shame,’’ she said.
‘‘The goal is to help parents to get their children trying new food and the awards are a way of encouraging the students to branch out.
‘‘If we encourage healthy eating habits now, they are more likely to continue in later life.’’
Ms Strachan said the response from students and parents had been fantastic.
‘‘Everyone is embracing the challenge. We’ve had parents telling us they’re changing the way they make certain foods to make them healthier,’’ she said.
‘‘And I now have students come up to me at school and tell me the healthy things they have in their lunchbox.’’
Pear Tree owner Nat Carpenzano said healthy eating could be a hard sell to children and the challenge was a way to make it easier.
‘‘It’s important to get students involved in preparing their lunchboxes. Sponsoring the challenge was a great way to do that and get involved in the community,’’ she said.