Calling time on junk food vouchers in kidsí sport

Five local Victorian councils have joined forces with VicHealth in a bid to phase out unhealthy food vouchers in children’s sport.

The Healthy Sports Reward initiative will encourage junior clubs in the Frankston, Bendigo, Yarra Ranges, Shepparton and Nillumbik council areas to replace vouchers for fast food and takeaway with healthy activities, like free or discounted access to a local pool or tennis court.

The project comes as new VicHealth and Deakin University research shows two out of three parents think children’s sports rewards should be healthy. 

Minister for Health, Martin Foley said it was important that junior sports clubs promote health and wellbeing among children in their community.

“It’s fantastic to see VicHealth, local councils and sporting clubs working together to create healthier sporting environments for Victorian children.

“This positive initiative will give grassroots clubs and families the chance to celebrate children’s sporting achievements in an active and healthy way.”

VicHealth Chief Executive Officer, Dr Sandro Demaio, said, “Rewarding children with vouchers for fast food during sport builds powerful brand associations at a young age and contribute to poor health, now and into adulthood.

 “Families are telling us they want healthier rewards for their children. We’re excited to partner with local Victorian councils to work towards making healthy and fun rewards the norm in junior sport.”