South Canterbury schools take part in nationwide survey measuring where they get their lunch from

Timaru South School principal Mike Hogan they try very hard to enocurage parents to give their children healthy lunches. ...
TETSURO MITOMO/FAIRFAX NZ

Timaru South School principal Mike Hogan they try very hard to enocurage parents to give their children healthy lunches. Pictured are Timaru South School are pupils Maddie Walton, 8 Lisita Finau, 8 and Mele Moimoi, 7.

The majority of Kiwi kids are bringing lunch to school rather than buying it from a tuck shop, a new survey has found.

Several South Canterbury schools took part in the CensusAtSchools survey, which covers a wide range of issues affecting schools around the country.

The latest survey results to be released focus on where pupils get their lunch from, in a bid to encourage healthier food options in schools.

South Canterbury schools that took part in survey include Bluestone School, Craighead Diocesan School, Mackenzie College, Opihi College, St Joseph's School, Twizel Area School, Timaru Christian School, Waimate Centennial School and Waimate High School.  

The main question asked "Where did you get your lunch from today?".

Ninety three per cent of primary schools pupils and 78 per cent of high school students said they got their lunch from home. 

CensusAtSchool co-director Rachel Cunliffe said while children were getting their lunch from home, it was about what was being put in their lunch boxes. 

The census showed that in the past 10 years, the percentage of students buying lunches from tuck shops has halved.

She said she often saw schools encouraging pupils not to bring food to school in packaging, and to bring more healthy food options. 

"It's a different way of killing two birds with one stone." 

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Timaru South School principal Mike Hogan said the school had a big focus on pupils having healthy lunches. 

"Everyday food is not a treat but the lines have been blurred and treat food becomes everyday food."

He said people knew that smoking was bad and not to do it, and similar cultural practices should be established for unhealthy food. 

The census also asked children who brought packed lunches how many items grown at home were among the food provided in the lunch boxes on the day they took the survey. 

A quarter said they had at least one home-grown item in their lunch box, Cunliffe said. 

She said the survey did not ask what else students had in their lunch boxes.

 - Stuff

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