Friday 31 March, 2023

Vic Kids Eat Well Awards

2022 winners ANNOUNCED

Vic Kids Eat Well Awards

Drumroll please…. We’re delighted to announce the winners in our first ever Vic Kids Eat Well Awards! 

Congratulations to all our award winners, honourable mentions and special acknowledgement champions.

We’re recognising superstars from our Vic Kids Eat Well member organisations! From colourful smoothies to spinach filled spanakopita they’ve come up with so many creative ways to offer kids nutritious and tasty food and drink swaps.

We’re also celebrating the community health promotion teams and  Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Healthy Kids Advisors who’ve provided on-the-ground support to schools, outside school hours care, sports clubs and community organisations around Victoria.


The 2022 Vic Kids Eat Well Award winners by category are:

BIG BITE awards

These awards recognise Vic Kids Eat Well member organisations that have successfully completed one or more of the movement’s ‘bite-sized’ changes in 2022.


Winner:  Mount Rowan Secondary College – Ballarat

Mount Rowan Secondary College was the first school to join Vic Kids Eat Well in the Ballarat area. The school has worked closely with local health promoters from Ballarat Community Health to support healthy changes.

Canteen staff boosted veggies, using in-season produce like cos lettuce, spinach, tomato, carrot, cucumber and beetroot. Frozen corn, peas and capsicum became staples in weekly canteen specials like fried rice, loaded baked potatoes and frittata.
Sugary drinks were replaced with healthy options and posters in the canteen sparked discussions with students about the fresh, delicious and healthy food and drink changes.

In acknowledging the school’s efforts, Principal Seona Murnane said they “…felt a duty of care to students, encouraging them to consume healthier alternatives to help them learn better in class.” The judges commended Ms Murnane, for demonstrating strong leadership and duty-of-care.

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Honourable Mention: Toorloo Arm Primary School – Lake Tyers Beach

Toorloo Arm Primary School built relationships with an outsourced lunch provider and their health promotion team at Gippsland Lakes Complete Health. They developed a fresh new menu that promotes healthy lunch order options for students each Friday. Students have been able to buy rolls with salad, soups and veggie loaded homemade sausage rolls, veggie-packed buddha bowls and chilli con carne.

To be healthy and to consider the climate, students were encouraged to bring refillable drink bottles for water and use school drinking fountains. The judges commended the school’s principal, school council and health promoter for collaborating to make these changes.


Outside School Hours Care

Winner: Athol Road Primary School OSHC

Athol Road Primary School OSHC has refreshed their menu by adding more fruit and veg to every dish. With the support of their local Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Healthy Kids Advisor, the kids were enthusiastic and open to all suggestions. The kids voted on the new menu items with veggie-pizza, healthy rice paper rolls, veggie risotto and healthy fried rice all winning. Their Healthy Kids Advisor even worked with the senior students to cook wholesome meals and serve them to the other kids. The judges commended the significant changes made and involvement of kids in the decision making.

Honourable Mention: Gumnuts Lakes Entrance OSHC

Gumnuts Lakes Entrance Outside Schools Hours Care has been providing kids with healthy food and drink options at events and outings. The judges commended their innovation in encouraging kids to choose an activity such as healthy cooking or a game for their birthday celebrations. The judges were also impressed this OSHC chose healthy fundraising; a highlight was their bookfair with a gold coin donation to fundraise for a local charity. The OSHC also undertook local activities at the library for excursions, walking with kids to encourage them to be active.

Sports clubs & Community & Council-run facilities

Winner: Castlemaine Football Netball Club – Juniors

Castlemaine Football Netball Club – Juniors refreshed their canteen fridge and changed the menu, boosting veggies and promoting healthy options for kids at games. Baked beans and tomato slices were added to wholemeal toasties. Coleslaw and baked bean spuds were made available. Corn was added to the regular BBQ and homemade veggie soup was often available. Free fresh fruit was also offered. The judges commended the Club’s creative and significant changes to their menu and were impressed with how they promoted the delicious and healthy options to young players.

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Honourable Mention: Springvale Library Café

Springvale Library Café has refreshed the fridge and switched up the snacks, with support from their Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Healthy Kids Advisor The Café has sourced healthy drink options and now offers three rows of healthy drinks and water. The Café changed their point-of-sale area to display fresh fruit cups, a new snack pack with popcorn, cheese and crackers, dried apricots and sultanas – especially for Thursday’s weekly story-time for kids. The judges commended the library’s ability to cater for their young visitors by displaying fresh, healthy and enticing food and drink options.

Special acknowledgment awards

These awards recognise individuals from Vic Kids Eat Well member organisations, health promoters and networks who have made a significant impact and demonstrated outstanding support for Vic Kids Eat Well throughout 2022.

Community champion

Chloe Hewitt and Jody Burgess
Mount Rowan Secondary College

Mount Rowan Secondary College was the first school in the Ballarat area to complete both small and big bites as part of the Vic Kids Eat Well movement. Principal Seona Murnane said: "Canteen staff Chloe Hewitt and Jody Burgess have been instrumental in making changes in the canteen. Both staff have a passion for fresh produce and teaching students to enjoy a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.”

Chloe and Jody used produce from the school veggie garden and student recommendations to shape the canteen. They exposed students to a variety of foods and highlighted that food tastes better and is more affordable when in season. The judges commended these community champions - Chloe and Jody – for showing passion and commitment in providing more nutritious options for students and for engaging their school community.

Health promoter champion

Jaquie Nethercote
Gippsland Lakes Complete Health

The judges commended Jaquie Nethercote from Gippsland Lakes Complete Health for being a very active health promoter champion for the Vic Kids Eat Well movement throughout Gippsland. Her initiative and dedication to health promotion and population health has seen her support different community organisations to boost healthy food and drink options for kids. She’s also gone the extra mile to encourage organisations to join Vic Kids Eat Well by presenting to local school principals, staff and at school council meetings.

Jaquie has worked with the local Healthy Kids Advisor to encourage uptake of Vic Kids Eat Well in the region. Her personable nature and positive attitude have paid off – Toorloo Arm Primary School and Gumnuts Lakes Entrance OSHC - have both completed Vic Kids Eat Well.

Kids champion

Branxholme Wallacedale Community School students

There are 12 students at Branxholme Wallacedale Community School, and they are all Vic Kids Eat Well champions! With support from their Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Healthy Kids Advisor, the students opened a window canteen on Fridays to raise money for their school camp.The students sat and discussed menu ideas and came up with fresh and long-life options.

‘Camp Kitchen’ is solely run and managed by students and offers weekly specials including fried rice, sandwiches, sushi, wraps, veggie-loaded chicken burgers and tacos. They’ve made smoothies and in winter they’ll sell soup. The kids were also environmentally conscious, Camp Kitchen bought dip in a large tub and sold it in reusable containers with a spoon that kids could return.

Network excellence

The Northern Grampians Shire Prevention Network 

 The Northern Grampians Shire Prevention Network is made up of local health promoters from community health organisations. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Healthy Kids Advisor for the Northern Grampians Shire, Lauren Dempsey, was the driving force in setting it up. The judges were impressed by Lauren’s collaborative efforts and the network’s integrated plan with shared goals, strategies and actions to achieve a collective impact approach for Vic Kids Eat Well.

The Northern Grampians Shire Prevention Network worked closely with local council and embedded actions from their prevention plan into the Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan. The group meet weekly to strengthen their working relationship and to streamline communications.

The group has signed up the first sport and recreation organisation in the shire, helped them to achieve their first small bite and make changes to their menu. Six community organisations have registered so far. Impressively, the network has engaged 70% of schools across the shire in Vic Kids Eat Well.

2023 Vic Kids Eat Well Awards – nominations now open

Nominations are now open for the 2023 Vic Kids Eat Well Awards.
For information and eligibility for Big Bite and Special Acknowledgement categories visit:

Vic Kids Eat Well Awards

For more information

Contact or 1300 185 725.