News and Events

Easy, Healthy Lunchboxes Every Day of the School Year

Posted on January 10, 2022

Lunchbox Summer

With the start of the 2022 school year not far away, thousands of parents across Aotearoa will be stepping up once more to the daily challenge of filling the kids’ lunchboxes.

Health and wellbeing is a top priority for parents in these uncertain pandemic times and making sure tamariki get a nutritious midday meal and snacks high in immunity-boosting vitamins and minerals is important.

5+ A Day Project Manager, Carmel Ireland is encouraging Kiwi parents to make the most of locally grown fruit and vegetables to create healthy, affordable and delicious lunchbox kai.

“Eating what’s in season is an affordable and healthy way to fill a school lunchbox,” she says.

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‘Virtual’ Adventure kick starts healthy habits for Kiwi kids – 6,500 free registrations

Posted on July 10, 2021


Registrations are filling up quickly for the Zespri Young and Healthy Virtual Adventure with only 6,500 of 20,000 left. To register visit:

The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust is again supporting this online programme that takes tamariki on a virtual global adventure while encouraging healthy eating and exercise behaviours.

Run in Term 4, this free event features ASICS Ambassadors and Kiwi sporting greats, Ardie Savea, Kane Williamson, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Samantha Charlton in avatar form.

Prizes and giveaways are up for grabs throughout the five-week adventure, including a fun Zespri Community Day for a hardworking school, ASICS’s shoes for a few classes of deserving students and other goodies too.

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5+ A Day Planting Futures for Tamariki with New Oke Partnership Deal

Posted on March 05, 2021

5 A Day And Oke Release Image

The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust is proud to announce its sponsorship of Oke, a local charity providing Kiwi kids from impoverished communities the opportunity to experience the benefits of growing their own fruit and vegetable garden.

Established in 2015, Oke has built gardens at 14 primary schools, gifting more than 10,000 tamariki across South Auckland from Mangere to Drury, with a school garden to grow and learn in.

With the recent Poverty Monitor report indicating that one in five of our tamariki live with food insecurity, the need for initiatives that support the health and wellbeing of young New Zealanders has never been greater. 5+ A Day Chair David Smith says the Oke ‘Growing a Future’ initiative is critical to tamariki in deprived communities.

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Record Two Million More Servings of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables to Tamariki in 2021

Posted on February 11, 2021

Girls In Classroom Eating Apples

Fresh fruit and vegetables are on the menu at 561 of New Zealand’s lowest decile schools, as the country’s most successful and effective school-based nutrition initiative gets underway for 2021, delivering millions more pieces of produce to tamariki in need.

Now in its sixteenth year, the fresh produce supplied to tamariki nationwide by the Fruit and Vegetables in Schools (FIS) initiative is a lifeline for those struggling to put food on the table. The impact of COVID-19 means this year will be the largest on record for FIS with a

total of over 26 million servings of fresh fruit and vegetables provided to 124,888 tamariki and staff in some of our most vulnerable communities.

Tamariki coming to school without breakfast is a daily occurrence in many schools around Aotearoa. Without a proper breakfast, children struggle to concentrate in class and fail to achieve their potential. Marilyn Ash, FIS Co-ordinator at Te Hapara School in Gisborne, reports the nutrition provided by the fresh produce is often the first meal of the day for many.

“We have been receiving the free lunches since February and really value the fruit, we have it for morning tea and some children don't have breakfast, so the fruit is really important to us,” she says.

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Free Fruit & Vegetables In Schools More Crucial Than Ever Before

Posted on December 07, 2020

Boys Outside Eating Apples 1

A record 26 million servings of fresh fruit and vegetables will be given to low decile school children next year, with calls to expand the initiative in light of last week’s alarming Poverty Monitor 2020 report.

Fruit & Vegetables in Schools (FIS) is New Zealand’s most successful and effective school-based nutrition programme and has become a salvation for many decile one and two primary and intermediate schools. Each child is given fresh seasonal produce to eat with their classmates daily and will try over two dozen varieties of fruit and vegetables during the school year.

A record 559 schools caring for over 123,000 tamariki and staff will receive fresh, locally-grown produce next year, with many schools saying they couldn’t cope without it. In the Lakes region, one Kaingaroa Forest School staff member describes FIS as simply “brilliant”.

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Te Reo Māori Celebrated in New 5+ A Day Resource

Posted on September 14, 2020

Te Reo E Card With Website

A new story book for young children that showcases kai hauora (healthy food) and traditional Māori knowledge is being launched by the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust to help celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori this September.

Te Taonga nei te Kūmara (The Gift of Kūmara) will be made available to all Kōhanga Reo in response to the regular requests the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust receives for nutrition resources in Te Reo. The story also includes an English interpretation so the book can be used in mainstream early childhood centres as well.

“Research shows that when tamariki are involved and aware of how to grow produce they are more likely to eat it,” explains 5+ A Day Project Manager Carmel Ireland.

“Our goal is to increase consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables for health and to provide appropriate resources to encourage this. We partnered with Māori public health organisation Hāpai te Hauora to ensure this beautiful resource reflects a Māori world perspective”.

The kūmara plant was chosen as the theme for the book because the traditional Māori crop was an ideal way to teach tamariki about using the seasons to guide planting and harvesting.

Hāpai te Hauora’s General Manager Māori Public Health Leadership, Jessikha Leatham-Vlasic, says they wanted the book to reflect not only the importance of eating fruit and vegetables but also the importance of understanding Māori environmental knowledge when it comes to growing crops.”

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