Tooty Fruity Vegie in Preschools

Click on the relevant reports, resources and publications for more information.


Program/Project Tooty Fruity Vegie in Preschools
Period/Length One year
Aim To increase vegetable and fruit consumption, fundamental movement skills and physical activity levels and to prevent overweight and obesity
Year 2007-2008
Target Group Preschool aged children, their families an child care staff
Reach 18 intervention and 13 control preschools
Locations Across the North Coast
Full Report Tooty Fruity Vegie in Preschools Program Report (2008)
More Information See below
  • Barnett L, van Beurden E, Morgan PJ, Brooks LO, Beard J.Gender differences in motor skill proficiency from childhood to adolescence: a longitudinal study. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 2010;81(2) 162-170
  • Adams J, Zask A, Dietrich U. Tooty Fruity Vegie in Preschools:an obesity prevention intervention in preschools targeting children’s movement skills and eating behaviours. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 2009;20(2) 112-119
  • Adams J, Molyneux M, Squires L. Sustaining an obesity prevention intervention in preschools. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 2011; 22(1)
  • Zask A, Adams J, Brooks LO, Hughes D. Tooty Fruity Vegie-an obesity prevention intervention evaluation in Australian Preschools. Health Promotion Journal of Australia 2012; 23: 10-15
  • Hardy LL, Reinten-Reynolds T, Espinel P, Zask A, Okley AD.Prevalence and correlates of low fundamental movement skill competency in children. Pediatrics 2012; 23;130: 390-398

What strategies were used?

Tooty Fruity Vegie in preschools program incorporates fundamental movement skill (FMS) training for preschool staff, the provision of equipment and resources to run the FMS program, healthy eating advice for parents and preschool staff and fruit and vegie tasting and cooking and gardening for children.

What were the program outcomes?

A comprehensive evaluation shows the program has been successful in improving fruit and vegetable intakes, reducing junk food intakes and greatly improving fundamental movement skills and reducing the waist circumference of children. The program was rolled out to all child care centres in NSW under the name Munch and Move.

Significant differences were found between intervention and control students. In comparison to control students, intervention students increased the number of fruit and vegetable serves in their lunch boxes (relative improvement 0.625 serves, p<0.0001), and their gross motor skills quotient scores 3 (relative improvement 12.4 units, p<0.0001).
There was a very large increase in the mean number of Energy Dense, Nutrient Poor snacks in lunch boxes among control preschool students and no change in the number of serves in intervention preschools students’ lunchboxes (relative improvement 1.8 serves, p=0.0005). Control preschool students’ age adjusted mean waist circumference increased, while intervention preschool students’ mean waist circumference decreased (relative improvement 0.711 cm, p=0.012). The results are impressive. The difference in age adjusted waist circumference may be associated with improvements in lunch box and movement skills outcomes.