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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Refresh.ED?

Refresh.ED is a suite of age-specific online curriculum support materials to encourage and support teachers from Kindergarten to Year 10 to include content on food, nutrition and healthy eating in their classroom teaching.

Refresh.ED teaching and learning units for each year group include content from one of four focus areas: food and drink source, choice, experience and effects on health.

Who provides Refresh.ED?

Refresh.ED was initially developed as a component of the Western Australian Healthy Children Program. It was funded by the Department of Health, Western Australia as a joint Australian, State and Territory Government initiative under the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.

Edith Cowan University was contracted to develop, promote and evaluate K-10 food and nutrition curriculum support materials as part of this program.

Commencing 1 July 2022, Refresh.ED resources will be an integral part of the new WA Whole of School Healthy Eating Program funded by the WA Department of Health. ECU is proud to have worked with Department of Health, schools, teachers, professional organisations and other stakeholders to develop, promote and evaluate the website and resources since 2012, but now we are handing over this role to the providers of the new Program, Nutrition Australia WA.

Who is Refresh.ED for?

Refresh.ED food and nutrition materials have been developed for Kindergarten to Year 10 teachers. However, school nurses, community health nurses, school support staff and administrators, nutrition professionals, health promotion officers and researchers may also find the materials useful.

How is Refresh.ED useful for teachers?

A focus on food can be a relevant and engaging way to achieve outcomes in many learning areas as well as teach children critical food and nutrition survival skills.

Refresh.ED can be taught in a number of different learning areas with opportunities for cross-curricular teaching.  Teaching units are aligned with specific learning areas and general capabilities of the Australian Curriculum.  Teaching steps are provided along with background information, a resource list, activity sheets and suggested time allocations.

Refresh.ED provides online teacher learning to enhance professional knowledge, practice and engagement.

How can I obtain Refresh.ED materials?

All Refresh.ED curriculum materials are available free to registered users on this website. Teaching units and activity sheets are provided as pdfs and can easily be printed.  Activity and information sheets can also be uploaded to an electronic whiteboard. Videos can be watched online.

Are Refresh.ED food and nutrition materials free?

All Refresh.ED food and nutrition materials are free to registered Refresh.ED users. Registration is also free and only takes 1-2 minutes to complete. You can register here.

Why is healthy eating important for children?

Healthy eating and good nutrition are essential for normal growth and cognitive development in children. Healthy eating contributes significantly to healthy weight, general wellbeing, resistance to infection and protection against dental caries and chronic disease.

Children who are hungry or poorly nourished are less attentive in class and more likely absent due to illness. This can reduce social interaction and learning opportunities, leading to poorer educational outcomes.

Eating habits and attitudes to food learned during childhood shape adult food preferences and can be hard to change. Adoption of healthy eating from an early age is a firm foundation for lifelong good nutrition and better health.

What role can teachers play in promoting children’s healthy eating?

Teachers have an influential role in children’s lives. When it comes to food and nutrition, teachers can motivate interest in healthy eating and help children develop nutrition survival skills.

In the classroom, teachers can provide a learning environment that develops children’s knowledge, skills and enthusiasm for making healthy choices. Food and nutrition can be taught in many learning areas. Teachers can use Refresh.ED curriculum materials and professional learning to incorporate nutrition education into their classroom curriculum.

In the staff room, teachers can advocate integrated nutrition curriculum, and school policies and environment that support classroom teaching about healthy eating.  The Refresh.ED scope and sequence provides a model for integrated curriculum. Each Refresh.ED unit provides ‘additional activities’ that extend learning tasks into the whole school environment.  See below the role that schools can play in promoting children’s healthy eating.

What role can schools play in promoting children’s healthy eating?

A whole school approach is needed to promote children’s healthy eating. Schools can educate children, families and communities about healthy food and good nutrition as well as create environments that support healthy eating.

Schools can use Refresh.ED curriculum materials as a basis for integrated teaching of food and nutrition across school years and learning areas. School engagement of parents in children’s learning is also desirable to support children’s healthy eating at home.

School policies and practices can model healthy eating standards to children and parents and help children achieve a healthy diet during the school day. This includes policies relating to catering in school canteens, school camps, sporting events, school functions, school breakfast programs and the food and drinks children bring to school.