Results from consecutive Australian Health Surveys show children are not consuming enough vegetables. In fact, only  1 in 20 (4.6%) children aged 2-17 years of age eat the recommended amount.

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The $4 million, five-year national VegKIT project brought together science and industry with CSIRO, Flinders University and Nutrition Australia working together to deliver an integrated approach to improving children’s vegetable intake by engaging with government, industry and the places where children learn and eat.

The objective of the project was to deliver a program of research and development activities to increase children’s vegetable related knowledge with the ultimate aim of increasing vegetable intake by more than half a serving per day for every child. With that goal in mind, there is potential to increase demand for vegetable produce by 19,000 tonnes per year if every child (aged from two to six) increased intake by half a serving or more per day.

Tools and resources created throughout the life of the VegKIT project are available for early childhood and education professionals, cooks, healthcare professionals and caregivers to access.

To read more about the VegKIT project and associated activities please visit the sections listed below:

Best practice guidelines   Resource registry   Vegetable Intake Strategic Alliance

Early years advice to foster a love of vegetables   Initiatives for childcare centres  

Supply chain initiatives


Activity 1: Best Practice Guidelines for Increasing Children's Vegetable Intake

Despite the wide range of initiatives, programs and research that aimed to increase children’s vegetable intake, there was no clear guidance on what strategies are likely to be successful.

A major component of the VegKIT project was to produce best practice guidelines which translate the latest scientific literature into strategies for implementation by different stakeholders. The best practice guidelines aim to create greater and more sustained increases in Australian children’s vegetable intake.



Activity 2: Resource Registry

The VegKIT resource registry is a searchable database of projects, resources and research that promote increasing vegetable intake in children. It is designed to be used by health professionals, educators, researchers, people working in community or public health to explore, plan, develop and evaluate existing or future initiatives.

All materials included in the registry have been reviewed for alignment with the best practice guidelines and evaluated for effectiveness by an independent expert panel.

Find initiatives

Create an account to submit an initiative



Activity 3: Vegetable Intake Strategic Alliance

The Vegetable Intake Strategic Alliance (VISA) was a cross-sector collaborative working group, brought together by the mutual goal of increasing children’s vegetable intake.

This group included a wide range of stakeholders, representing the horticulture industry, State and Commonwealth departments, nutrition and health agencies, research organisations, retailers, early learning and parenting organisations and various non‐government organisations.

Why a position statement? 

Children’s vegetable intakes have stagnated far below recommendations[1]. Past efforts to increase intakes have been limited and not adopted at scale[2, 3]. In this position statement, the VISA provides a unified voice in the promotion of evidence-based best practice using a paradigm shift to improve vegetable intakes. 

Who is this position statement for?

Stakeholders and ‘gatekeepers’ who influence children’s food & vegetable intake across community settings, including health, education, and sporting activities. This includes primary carers of children or parents and the provision of food through food service and the food system supply chain.

Download Position Statement



Activity 4: Early years advice to foster a love of vegetables

Research has identified that acceptance of vegetables is a key factor associated with children’s low intake.

However, advice on how to encourage acceptance of vegetables in the early years of life was lacking. One of the key activities of the VegKIT project was to identify opportunities to promote young children’s enjoyment and liking of vegetables. Using a robust scientific approach, VegKIT researchers reviewed current science and vegetable dietary advice to better understand the most effective strategies that influence children’s liking of vegetables, and identify opportunities to strengthen these with practical strategies.

A resulting set of vegetable feeding advice statements was produced for adoption according to 3 areas: Policy & Practice, Research and Industry.



Activity 5: Initiatives for childcare centres

Promotion of healthy eating in childcare settings can improve children’s overall healthy food intake, including an increased intake of vegetables, however, challenges include food waste, which could be reduced by enhancing children’s willingness to give vegetables a go.

How is VegKIT addressing it?

The VegKIT childcare study developed and tested an online package for childcare centres to increase children’s vegetable acceptance and intake.
This study tested initiatives that provide training and support for cooks, educators and teachers to:

  1. Support vegetable provision at meals and snacks
  2. Integrate lessons about vegetables into the curriculum
  3. Encourage children to taste and enjoy vegetables at mealtimes.



Activity 6: Supply chain initiatives

With the goal of increasing children’s vegetable intake, VegKIT mapped out two initiatives that involve the industry supply chain and early primary school settings:

  • Part 1: Developing new vegetable products
  • Part 2: Creating opportunities in schools to improve vegetable consumption - which involved collaboration with Healthy Kids Association and Perfection Fresh.

The diagram below shows how this activity was conducted.