Fruit in Schools programme

Fruit in Schools (FIS) encourages children to eat more fruit and vegetables and to adopt healthier lifestyles. Through this programme, the Ministry of Health is aiming for a jump-start to healthy eating and lifestyle choices by reaching children in regions of high social and health need.

The programme began in 2005 and at the start of Term 1 of 2017, 543 schools and 104,244 students were taking part.

FIS targets children at the eligible primary schools who each receive a free piece of fresh produce daily.

The key objectives for Fruit in Schools are to see:

  • children in participating school communities eating more fruit and vegetables
  • more school communities promoting health through a whole school approach
  • an increased awareness and implementation of healthy eating and physical activity.

The programme is funded by the Ministry of Health and managed by the produce organisation United Fresh.

Widespread support for Fruit in Schools

Fruit in Schools was developed by an interagency group which included:

Fruit in Schools’ positive impact

Independent research has shown Fruit in Schools is having a positive impact on children and nutrition.  

An independent evaluation in 2015 found that FIS was highly valued by principals and aligned with international evidence on how to improve nutrition and reduce obesity in children. During the evaluation:

  • 80% of principals said Fruit in Schools contributed to a sense of equality between pupils
  • 98% said pupils knew more about nutrition and health
  • 66% of principals said they had seen an improvement in students’ general health as a result of Fruit in Schools

In 2016, more than 20 million pieces of produce were distributed to participating schools. Children are able to sample up to 24 different types of fruit or vegetable.

More information

Find out more about Ministry-supported initiatives for healthy eating at

FInd out more about the work 5+ a Day does with schools and early childhood centres at:

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