Remote school serves up nutrition program for pupils

Tamra CarrMidwest Times
Burringurrah Remote Community School students Monty Morrison, 6, and Terrance Gilbert, 5, enjoy a healthy breakfast.
Camera IconBurringurrah Remote Community School students Monty Morrison, 6, and Terrance Gilbert, 5, enjoy a healthy breakfast. Credit: Supplied

In its last National Health Survey, the Commonwealth deemed 124,700 WA children to be obese or overweight.

About 369,500 (69.1 per cent) met Australian dietary guidelines for recommended daily serves of fruit.

About 34,300 (6.4 per cent) met the recommended servings of vegetables.

According to the Federal Government, about 28,600 (5.3 per cent) children in WA were eating enough fruit and vegetables.

In an effort to ensure their students are meeting nutrition requirements, Burringurrah Remote Community School has launched a nutrition program.

The school funded the restoration of a derelict building and installed a commercial grade kitchen.

At the start of Term 2, students enjoyed the opening of their new kitchen centre, situated next to the green house and vegetable garden.

Principal Iain Browning said the project is part of a bigger picture.

“Essentially, the aim is to teach a program titled Ground to Mouth,” he said. “Children are taught to plant seeds, encourage them to grow, harvest the produce, then cook the resultant vegetables.

“The aim is to ingrain into children that foods grown, and cooked in this way is far better than processed foods. The school has been operating a breakfast program in the second half of 2017 and the first term of 2018.

“It has seen improved attendance and teachers have observed children are more engaged and focused in learning activities throughout the day. They are also learning fundamental social skills.

“For example, the high school students assist in preparing and serving breakfast to the younger students each morning.”

Mr Browning said the school would soon expand the breakfast program to lunch.

The nutrition program is taught by trained chef and teacher Angela Paterson.

Parents are invited to cook with their children.

Burringurrah is an Aboriginal community in the Gascoyne.

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