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Our vision: Lower Hutt – NZ’s healthiest people

Rata Street School’s mission for a healthier lunchbox

Joint media release: Healthy Families Lower Hutt, Regional Public Health, Te Awakairangi Health Network and the Heart Foundation

19 February 2016

Rata Street School is fighting the good fight for healthy school lunches. On Tuesday 16 February, Rata Street School students and their caregivers were invited to take part in the school’s first ever Healthy Hauora Day.

Trish Hereaka, Teacher and Health Team Coordinator at Rata Street School said, “Healthier
school lunches were something both our student and teacher Health Teams wanted to see
this year. The next step was working out how to make this happen!”

Trish contacted a number of health promotion organisations from across the Hutt Valley –
Regional Public Health, Te Awakairangi Health Network, Bee Healthy Regional Dental
Service, the Fruit and Vege Co-Op based at St David’s Church in Naenae, and the Heart
Foundation – to see what could be done to support the school’s vision for a healthier lunch

As the old saying goes ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ – and the village was more than
happy to help.

Te Awakairangi Health Network was at the event teaching kids to make their own healthy
sandwiches, and playing some pretty fierce matches of pea-knuckle. Olivia Edwards from Te
Awakairangi Health Network said the most creative sandwich combination she spotted was
banana and cucumber!

Regional Public Health provided a healthy barbeque, taught students to make corn-on-thecob
and vegetables kebabs, and provided fruit and vege packs from the Naenae Fruit and
Vege Co-op.

The Heart Foundation ran a cooking demonstration for parents and an education stand on
the amount of fat and sugar in popular meals and drinks, and the Bee Healthy Regional
Dental Service had an education stand on dental health.

Pak n Save, Jina’s World of Fresh Produce, Bunnings Warehouse and Countdown all kindly
donated produce to help support the event.

Local father, Victor Cook attended the Healthy Hauora Day with his son Maddoc, seven, and
said the highlight was getting to come in and spend some time with his son.

Mr Cook said, “We can tell and tell our kids that certain food and drink aren’t good for
them, but it means so much more where they can see it for themselves. The displays with
the amount of fat and sugar in things were real eye-openers!”

Rata Street School Teacher Mrs Hereaka said her favourite part of the day was seeing the
kids actually enjoying their healthy lunches, “They loved it!”

Rata Street School was presented with a Heart Foundation Heart Start Excellence Award last
year for their commitment to regular healthy eating and physical exercise.

For inspiration and ideas on children’s lunchbox menus, go to and
click on ‘resources’.