Healthy drinks only in primary schools - consultation opens

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

A proposal for primary schools to offer only healthy drinks has opened for consultation today.

“The initial proposal is for healthy drinks in primary schools. However, the government is also considering a similar policy in secondary schools," Education Minister Chris Hipkins says.

Some schools have already put their own healthy drinks policies in place, however, Hipkins says the government wants to gauge opinion on whether this should be replicated across all primary schools.

“Research shows that dental decay is now the most common disease reported among children in New Zealand, and rates of obesity among children increased significantly between September 2020 and August 2021."

Hipkins says sugar-sweetened beverages account for more than a quarter of children’s sugar intake in Aotearoa.

Water, milk and non-dairy milk alternatives would replace these drinks.

“Promoting healthy food and drink in schools is common practice in other OECD countries. Evidence also shows the earlier in a child’s development that healthy habits can be encouraged, the better."

Feedback on the consultation document closes on 2 June.