- Bust myths around diet
- Explore body image safely
- Learn mindful eating
- Understand how good nutrition can help stress
Year 11 and 12 Girls Nutrition Program.
Empowering young women to choose real health, for life.
Through the "Lettuce Eat" school-based dietary education and mentorship program for Brisbane senior girls.
Have you heard these words from your senior girls?
If these comments sound familiar around your school campus, you are not alone.
In fact, our teenage girls are currently some of the most stressed people in the country. According to Mission Australia’s 2020 youth survey of more than 25,000 young people, over half of our young women feel stressed either most of the time or all of the time. One of the highest concerns in this age group is body image.
Just under half of all the females surveyed (45.9%) were either extremely concerned or very concerned about body image. This was even more concerning than school or study problems (40.5%). What might be contributing to body image stress? Perhaps just as important a question is – where are our young women going to find answers?
Every day, they’re offered unfettered advice.
Our young women are bombarded with conflicting advice about their diet, weight and lifestyle. Their Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube feeds are crowded with thin and beautiful ‘experts’ who offer a way to be like them. Touting diet ‘hacks’ and nutritional viewpoints nobody is verifying as safe. Regardless of whether their advice is sound, our girls are following them in droves.
The opinions of these ‘experts’ filter into the schoolyard, and linger around at lunchtime. It’s natural that the opinions of school and parents start to matter less and less, but who is plugging any gaps between fact and fiction? Who’s helping them put the pressure they feel to be “Insta-worthy” into context with reality?
Let’s bridge that gap
As Dietitians, we hope to counteract this thinking. We understand that we will never remove the influencers from the lives of our young people. What we can do is give young women the tools to be more discerning. To give them actionable advice on how to approach their health and diet, and meet the increasing mental, social and emotional demands of their late high school years. To offer understanding, inspiration and healthy alternatives to what comes across their screens every day.
We want the emerging generation to be able to see beyond the portrait of the ideal lifestyle shown in 1-minute reels. To be able to question, respond and analyse what’s coming at them in relation to diet and lifestyle from a place of informed choice.
Expert nutritional advice that cuts through
The Year 11 & 12 Girls Nutrition Program is dedicated to promoting dietary education and mentorship for young women across Queensland as they approach adulthood. Presented by one of Queensland’s first and longest-practising dietetic clinics, Tree of Life Nutrition, the program offers an insightful, respectful and sensible approach to dietary issues impacting young women today.
Our goal is to give senior girls a sense of empowerment around food choices, body image and nutrition which they can carry with them throughout their whole lives.
Lettuce Eat gives young women the tools to:
Our presentations have an amazing impact because they are
- Fun. Young women of this age group are desperate for good advice, but they are not going to take it in unless they are engaged with the presenter and the content. We make it fun.
- Specific. The content is specific to the interests and needs of Year 11 and 12 girls and delivered in a language they can relate to.
- Sensible. Designed by Accredited Practicing Dietitians with a combined 30 years of clinical experience. Underpinned by those pillars of good nutrition and healthy eating habits that never change.
- Group-focused. All the girls get the same tools and advice, from the same reputable source. Long after we’re gone, they can support each other to remember and implement.
- Interactive. Rather than talking at girls, we ask questions and invite them to comment with their own experiences and opinions.
- Actionable. We empower young women with actionable advice and tools for decision making in the real world.
- Repeatable and buildable. Return sessions for further mentorship and to meet the changing needs throughout the school year and towards graduation.
“Hi, I’m Eleni. I see my role as dietitian, mentor and speaker all in one. I remember this time in my life as being quite volatile. The world starts to open up, and at the same time the pressures of that world start to weigh down on you quite keenly. It feels exciting, but also confusing. Body image, diet, weight was a big issue when I was coming through school, and it appears this is only increasing. I would love to be a part of making this time of change more exciting and less stressful for young women of today. I see the importance of empowerment rather than dictatorship in helping to build intelligent decision making and nurture resiliency and self care in young women. This is a skill I know they will have for life. I can’t wait to meet your cohort and share my love of food and healthy living with them.”
“Hello I’m Desi - mother of three and founder of one of Brisbane’s first and longest-practicing independent dietary clinics, Tree of Life Nutrition. I have one teenage daughter and another just about there. The experience my oldest daughter had in her late high school years was definitely a motivation for this program. I saw the high levels of anxiety in my daughter and her friends at this time. The heightened concerns around body image and excessive exercise as well as interest in “fashionable” diets such as vegan or plant based diets. It’s a state being mirrored by many teenage girls I see in practice too. Young women are eager for education on these topics - and this should come from professionals, not YouTubers. It is my hope that young women are empowered to “eat well, feel good and look great” for life. “
Frequently asked questions about the Year 11 and 12 Girls Nutrition Program.
Year 11 & 12 girls are at a crucial age when it comes to implementing what they hear, see and observe. They’re gaining increasing independence and are motivated to make their own decisions around self-management and self-care.
That often means shaking off the family’s way of eating for their own. As dietitians, we see young women of this age group extremely interested in the latest fad diets (enter veganism, plant-based, keto, intermittent fasting or anything else new or different). If they’re lucky, this information will be sourced from a Dietitian. However in our experience, the information is coming from Instagram or YouTube, or friends, or some combination of both.
It is also an age where young people may be most open to change and improvement. Put simply, we think given the right tools, our young women are at an age where what they learn now, can remain with them for life. Given the right environment, the right mentorship, we can change their relationship with food. As a dietetic practice with over 30 years of clinical experience in disordered eating and dietary issues related to chronic disease, this is the most rewarding possibility we can hope for.
Delivered in a single session, or progressively throughout your school calendar, we offer sensible and evidence-based advice to your senior girls when they need it most. The Lettuce Eat program is a fun, relevant and interactive presentation that is tailored to the school year and the needs of the students.
The content focuses more than just telling young people what they should eat or do. The program is designed to meet young women exactly where they are, drawing on their current knowledge. Rather than a dogmatic approach, we present them with tools to help them make better decisions regarding their health which can cut through any trends or fads. The Lettuce Eat program is a fun, relevant and interactive presentation that is tailored to the school year and the needs of the students.
Some of the session topics we have covered in the past include:
- Balanced diets – what is one, why it’s important, how to formulate one
- The busy teenage life, and other things that prevent you from eating a
balanced diet (and what to do about it)
- Fad diet myth-busting!
- Exams, assignments and studying how to improve your energy levels
through good nutrition.
- Safe weight loss
- Vegan, vego, plant-based. How to balance a diet without meat.
- Women’s health nutrition – iron and calcium, why they’re important and
how to maintain good levels.
- Exploring poor body image, restrictive eating, peer pressure, time-poor
- Eating disorder myth-busting
- Stress eating – how to minimise it around exam times.
- Mindful eating exercises for calm, attuned food choices.
- Sport nutrition
- Food prep demonstrations. What do healthy snacks and great main
meals look like? What does a healthy lunch box look like?
- Taste testing of easy snacks and meals
- Life after school – preparing for Uni or work and fending for yourself.
Some typical times include…
- Before periods of increased academic pressure – such as prior to
- Before periods of increased social pressure such as before formals
- Towards the end of year 12 for university or work readiness.
- Early in year 11 and offering continual and buildable mentorship for
two years of their senior schooling.
Feedback on our healthy eating initiatives in schools
“I enjoyed the nutrition session because all the information was relevant to my age group. I could relate to what was being said and will take on board the information about a balanced diet.”Year 12 StudentLoreto College Coorparoo
“The session on healthy eating was informative and made me think about the choices I was making with food. I like to keep healthy and we were shown some quick ways to get the nutrients we need.”StudentLourdes Hill College
“The nutrition session was useful and fun as we got to eat different food and it was relevant to school students...I would like to do more sessions with the Nutritionist on how to eat properly when rushing in the morning.”EliseLourdes Hill College
Let’s work together to create better relationships with food
Tree of Life Nutrition is excited to work with your school to actively contribute to the development of healthier lifestyles, better food choices and lifelong empowerment for emerging young women.
To find out whether this is the right fit for your school, download our program. If you have further questions or want to book an introductory session, reach out to us any time on +617 3891 6199 or via our enquiry form.