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Australia's Healthier Lunchboxes - Rachel's story

Tuesday, 13 Feb 2024

Eating healthy while living in a remote town has its challenges, but Rachel spends her days overcoming these with her kids at home and the families she supports at work. This knowledge, passion and creativity is what saw her become one of the 2023 winners of Australia’s Healthier Lunchboxes.

She shares her experience:

I live in Gunbalanya in the Northern Territory. The local store relies on chartered flights to gain access to fresh produce and products. If produce is sold out, it’s a three-hour drive, which includes crossing crocodile infested waters, to visit the closest supermarket in Darwin. During the wet season this isn’t always possible.
Food security and health issues like iron deficiency are real issues for us. That’s why I think it’s so important to educate people about healthy food.

In remote areas like where we live, we don’t always get access to fresh food so you have to be creative, like making dried fruit or using older apples to make scones. It’s about giving people, especially kids, opportunities to experience different foods in different ways. Take my son, Poasa. At first, he refused to eat berries and grapes, until I made it fun and served them as frozen fruit on a stick.

I see this at work too, with many Indigenous families who are masters of healthy food and bush tucker not really sure how to prepare fruit and veg from our local store. But once I show them, they’re keen as.

It’s like anyone else, we’re used to a particular style of food because of our culture and what we are exposed to as we grow up. It’s not until we get the opportunity to be brave and to try new things that we get the taste for different flavours, gain knowledge and become invested in exploring options.

While remote communities face additional hurdles like access, the challenge of packing a healthy lunchbox is one that parents across Australia know all too well.

That’s why Australia’s Healthier Lunchboxes is shining a light on practical and affordable ideas and providing inspiration to show parents and children what’s possible.

From 22 January to 17 February, we are inviting parents and schools to enter for an opportunity to win from a record prize pool worth $12,000.

It’s as simple as a snap

Parents, we want to see your child’s healthier lunchbox!

Schools, show us how you’re educating and celebrating!

Your opportunity to win