Published on: 30 May 2019

A Bushtucker Trial organised at a Derby secondary school saw students challenged to try new foods – and finding out they quite enjoyed them.

The food challenge at the City of Derby Academy in Farmhouse Road, Sinfin, was arranged by the school nurse and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Healthy Schools Healthy Settings Team. 

Since January 2018, school nurse Virginia Hickman within the 0-19 Health Service and Tracey Simpkin anbushtucker-trial-fish-eggs.JPGd Louise Butler from the Healthy Schools Healthy Settings team have worked in partnership with staff, pupils and parents from school, including the school’s Connect alternative provision building, supporting with the whole school approach.

Last year the team identified healthy eating as an area to promote, and they decided to engage pupils with the Bushtucker Trial idea. Foods on offer, provided and prepared by Connect staff, included:

  • Fish eggs (pomegranate, pictured)
  • Blended crocodile (guacamole, pictured)
  • Mashed eyeballs and octopus (melon and blueberries)
  • Slimy swamp sludge (fruit smoothie)
  • Slippery sardines. 

The healthcare team provided resources and challenges including a sugar matching challenge and a sugar board with information about hidden sugars and oral health. Information was also displayed about foods the pupils regularly eat, such as the nutritional value of a kebab and the recommended amount of bushtucker-trial-crocodile.JPGsalt for one day.

Tracey commented: “All of the pupils engaged with the Bushtucker Trial, although it took some persuasion at first. Most of the pupils had not tried the foods before but they encouraged each other to try each food. The pupils seemed to have lots of fun and felt proud of themselves after trying something new.” 

Students have already provided positive written and verbal feedback about the Bushtucker Trial, including “I enjoyed today – it was fun and I like trying new things.”