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Life Ed: New research reveals gap in reaching healthy lunchbox goals

Life Ed and Woolworths join forces to provide free tools for parents and schools

New research shows that veggies and protein are the top food items being left out by parents when packing their child’s lunchbox.¹ This is despite the fact that these foods provide children with the best source of sustained energy. That’s why Life Ed and Woolworths are partnering to launch their annual search for Australia’s Healthier Lunchboxes, to encourage healthier choices as the school year begins.

“While these results are concerning, the intention is not. Our national survey found that 78 per cent of parents believe that giving their kids enough energy for the school day is the most important factor when packing a lunchbox. This highlights a gap in education, for growing students and busy parents,” said Russell D’Costa, CEO, Life Ed Australia.

“That’s where Australia’s Healthier Lunchboxes comes in. It shines a light on the food facts and provides practical and affordable ideas and inspiration to show parents and children what’s possible.

“It’s about involving the whole community. Divide and conquer doesn’t cut it when it comes to embedding long-term learning and healthy habits. We need to work together – inside and beyond the classroom – to give Aussie kids the fuel and tools they need to make healthy choices into the future,” explained Russell.

By simply taking a photo of their kids’ healthier lunchbox or education efforts from schools, participants will be in the running to win a share of $12,000 in prizes. This includes Woolworths e-gift cards and Healthy Harold vouchers. Judging will take place at the end of February, with winners to be announced in April.

As part of the initiative, parents and schools will be able to access free engaging and practical resources and activities from Life Education’s Healthy Harold and Woolworths – including $5 lunchbox recipe ideas, tips on easy and affordable swaps, tricks like batch cooking to help ease the load, and hacks to help food stay fresh. The aim is to encourage parents and schools to work together to take a holistic approach when it comes to keeping future generations healthy.

“A nutritious lunch is so important for little ones to help them thrive at school and at home. As Today’s Fresh Food People, we’re focused on how we can help make healthier easier for our customers, their family and the community,” said Sarah De La Mare, Woolworths Head of Community and Sponsorships.

“This includes programs like Free Fruit for Kids, where we've provided more than 160 million pieces of free fruit to kids across Australia and New Zealand since we first launched.

“We also recognise that parents are busy, and coming up with lunchbox ideas and balancing the household budget can be a challenge. So this year we’ve released a number of kids lunchbox recipe ideas that come to less than $5 a serve to help make it easier for busy parents on a budget to make healthier lunchboxes,” said De La Mare.

To learn more and enter the Australia’s Healthier Lunchboxes competition, visit

¹ National Parents Survey 2023, commissioned by Woolworths and Life Ed.


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