School targets the junk-food habit

EVAN HARDING
Last updated 05:00 24/08/2012
Aaliyah Talamahina
DOUG FIELD/Fairfax NZ
DECISIONS: Fernworth Primary School pupil Aaliyah Talamahina, 9, ponders whether to go for the pie or the orange.

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An Invercargill school is fighting child obesity by encouraging its pupils to cut their intake of pies and sausage rolls.

Fernworth Primary is limiting its students to buying pies and sausage rolls from the local dairy just twice a week.

The school, which has joined the Heart Foundation education programme Health Start, has been reviewing the food its children buy.

Principal Anne Walker said the school and the shop, the Pomona St Discounter, were working together to offer the kids healthier food.

New options being tried out at the school included sushi, bread-based pizza, American hot dogs and smart cookies.

"We are hoping it will build from here and the Pomona St dairy will now provide healthier food," Mrs Walker said.

But she couldn't tell parents what to feed their children.

"If they order their food from school they won't be allowed pies more than twice a week, but we can't restrict what parents give them."

The owner of the Pomona St Discounter, Grace Wu, said she normally received about 10 orders a day from the school, and they were all for pies.

But she was happy to supply the pupils healthier food if they wanted it.

Teacher Georgie Clark said the pupils appeared enthusiastic about the new menu choices on offer yesterday.

But old habits die hard for some.

"I like junk food," Reese Bolger said.

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- The Southland Times

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