Results from consecutive Australian Health Surveys show children are not consuming enough vegetables. In fact, only 6% of children aged 2-17 years of age eat the recommended amount. Establishing healthy eating patterns as a child is essential to forming good dietary habits that help prevent negative health outcomes during childhood and later in life.
VegKIT is a comprehensive toolkit for educators, health professionals and research agencies that includes information on dietary guidelines, evidence-based research on flavour exposure and food preferences, credible pilot studies and interventions, and best practice guidelines for those working with children.
Six key activities
The VegKIT project encompasses six key activities that reach a wide range of settings including education, research, health, food industry, and policy and government.
The six VegKIT activities are:
- Best Practice Guidelines for increasing children’s vegetable intake
- A national online register of initiatives to increase vegetable intake
- Further development and coordination of the Vegetable Intake Strategic Alliance (VISA)
- Updated dietary advice for maternal, infant and early years, using evidence-based knowledge of flavour exposure and food preference development, to facilitate children’s vegetable intake
- Initiatives in the community (for long day-care settings) to increase children’s vegetable intake
- Supply chain initiatives (industry innovations and early primary school settings) to increase children’s vegetable intake.
The VegKIT project brings together a number of research and education resources with the ultimate aim of increasing children’s vegetable intake by more than half a serving per day. With this increase, there is potential for significant immediate and long-term health benefits, including lowering the risk of chronic disease in later life and ensuring children eat the recommended nutrients for adequate growth and development. There is also potential to increase demand for fresh produce by 19,000 tonnes per year if every child (aged 2-6 years) increases consumption by greater than half a serving.
The VegKIT project began in 2018 and will complete in 2022. The project has delivered a wide-ranging website hosting the VegKIT registry with nearly 50 initiatives and resources relating to children’s vegetable intake, as well as tailored resources and information for those working in long day care centres, schools & out-of-school-hours-care (OSHC), industry & growers, research, and community & public health.
The VegKIT team have developed Best Practice Guidelines, research initiatives, evidence summaries, infographics, science insights, education posters and videos to assist those working to increase children’s vegetable intake.
Appearances in the media
View the VegKIT website and download a range of free resources at www.vegkit.com.au.