New movement set to transform food and drink environments for Mildura kids

Tuesday 10 May, 2022

An exciting new Victorian-wide healthy food and drink movement is refuelling kids in Mildura. Vic Kids Eat Well aims to transform food and drink options in schools, sports clubs and community settings to provide children and young people with the healthy start they need to learn, grow and thrive.

Teenagers preparing food

Since the movement launched earlier this year, three Mildura organisations have joined, including two schools and one outside school hours care provider. Mildura Specialist School was one of the first schools in the state to join Vic Kids Eat Well.

Vic Kids Eat Well is helping organisations to take simple, achievable steps that include ditching sugary drinks, boosting healthy food options in canteens and removing unhealthy marketing. 

The initiative is supported by the Victorian Government and is delivered by Cancer Council Victoria’s Achievement Program, in partnership with Nutrition Australia’s Healthy Eating Advisory Service.

Tope Adepoyibi, a program head from Cancer Council Victoria, said Vic Kids Eat Well was about the community coming together to boost healthy eating right from the start so kids could be at their best. 

“We all want our kids to attend school, play sport and attend their local community centre free from unhealthy food and sugary drinks. Vic Kids Eat Well is supporting schools and other community organisations to make healthier food and drink options front and centre in their canteens, kiosks and vending machines,” Ms Adepoyibi said.

“Vic Kids Eat Well offers support for community organisations to help them adopt healthy changes. For example, a school might select to increase the availability of fruit, while a community centre might choose to refresh the fridge by swapping sugary drinks for water,” Ms Adepoyibi said. 

Lucinda Hancock, CEO of Nutrition Australia said Vic Kids Eat Well was a simple initiative for schools and  other community organisations to support children to live healthier lives. 

“As organisations settle back into their normal routines this year, there is an opportunity for them to rethink their canteen offerings and switch to healthier food and drink options. Vic Kids Eat Well provides the motivation, engagement and support organisations need to make the switch,” Ms Hancock said.

Organisations that participate in Vic Kids Eat Well will have access to dedicated local health support staff, practical resources and incentives to celebrate success.

Mildura and 12 priority communities across the state will also receive additional hands-on support through the recently launched Healthy Kids Advisors initiative, which is delivered by Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation and supported by the Victorian and Australian Governments.

Organisations can learn more about Vic Kids Eat Well and join at

Case study: Mildura Specialist School

Mildura Specialist School has 188 students from prep to year 12 and runs a successful Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program.

Susan Alexander, the school’s healthy communities coordinator, and Rachael Giddens, health promotion team leader at Sunraysia Community Health, are leading health and wellbeing improvements, including the school’s alignment to Vic Kids Eat Well.

The school has a student-led healthy breakfast club, a canteen and is planning an on-site café to showcase the healthy food students grow and prepare.

Rachael Giddens said the school played an important role within the local community and joining Vic Kids Eat Well would further support them.

Rachael Giddens said: “A lot of the jobs these kids go on to feature food production; whether that’s work at a farm, a local tourist attraction like our maze or specialist food shop.” 

Susan Alexander said: “For our school, joining Vic Kids Eat Well is about giving kids a great start with healthy food. Long term, this is about creating healthy communities,” Susan Alexander said.