Students prove value of fresh food

Morwell Flexible Learning Option students became canny consumers last week when they found out how to get more bang for their buck by filling their shopping baskets with basic fresh food.

Two groups of year seven students were let loose with $20 and were asked to fill their shopping baskets with either junk food or healthy food.

The task was part of a Latrobe Community Health FOODcents program exploding the myth that eating healthily costs more than junk food.

The students found that their $20 bought only one kilogram of junk food whereas the other group got a whopping nine kilograms of fresh fruit and vegetables with the same budget.

Health promotion officer Gabrielle Francis taught the kids how to decipher food labels before they set out on their shopping spree.

“If we look at Latrobe Valley obesity rates, we can see our food literacy levels are low,” Ms Francis said.

“It’s important to start with these kids so they can influence their parents and carers to make the best food choices.”

The kids then went back into the classroom and jumped on a bike-powered smoothie maker and created their own healthy drinks with fresh fruits.

They also cooked up a healthy lunch made with chilies grown from their own kitchen garden and learned how to make tasty treats without added chemicals.

The program also taught students how to divide their shopping budget in relation to the healthy food pyramid.

Ms Francis said 60 percent of a shopping spend should go on greens and grains while 30 percent should be spent on meats and dairy.

She invited other Latrobe Valley schools to sign up to the FOODcents program by getting in touch with Latrobe Community Health.