A decade has passed since the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust was launched to help encourage us all to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
The message is simple – eat at least five servings each day to help maintain good health – but one which requires ongoing promotion and education to ensure New Zealanders of all ages understand the importance of healthy eating.
We’re fortunate to live in a country where fresh, delicious, seasonal produce is always available and the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust, with support from stakeholders, is proving to be an effective way to help increase consumption.
The 5+ A Day logo now appears on over 600 packages and promotions while independent research shows 94% of household shoppers are aware of 5+ A Day (up from 82% in 2012). Around two thirds of household shoppers with children eat at least two servings of fruit, and three or more servings of vegetables, per day.
But there is still plenty of work to be done. According to a 2017 Ministry of Health survey, only 40% of the general population eat five or more servings a day (up from 36% in 2013).
The 5+ A Day Charitable Trust is focusing on a range of different initiatives to connect with people in schools, workplaces and online, to boost consumption even further.
A dedicated education website (www.5adayeducation.org.nz) is well utilised by schools around the country and the ‘Growing and Learning with Fredge and 5+ A Day’ is the most widely used resource amongst Early Childhood Education providers.
The consumer website (www.5aday.co.nz) provides recipes and nutritional information and hosts the new Workplace Wellness Hub which large companies such as The Warehouse, Mitsubishi, health boards and city councils are encouraging their employees to use.
5+ A Day ambassadors Julia & Libby are highly effective, sharing key messages and healthy recipes with their 125,000 social media followers. The Kiwi sisters are part of the trust’s wider move to reach more people via digital platforms. 5+ A Day now regularly shares vibrant photos, recipes, serving suggestions and fun facts on its own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts, connecting with a huge audience nationwide.
The trust sponsors Sticky TV, Stage Challenge, the National Secondary Schools Culinary Challenge, and a Football in Schools programme to reach a younger audience, and engages with United Fresh members through seasonal fruit and vegetable promotions and regular media releases.
Ten years is a significant milestone but 5+ A Day continues to look to the future. It plans to focus on the workplace and education sectors, stay at the forefront of social media and develop more nutritional information for Kiwis to use.