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Completed project

Development of a vegetable education resource – stage 2 (VG15067)

Key research provider: CSIRO Agriculture and Food
Publication date: Friday, February 7, 2020

What’s it all about?

From 2016 to 2019, this investment developed and evaluated a new vegetable education program for primary schools, aimed at increasing children’s enjoyment of vegetables and willingness to consume them.

A teacher-led program consisting of five vegetable education lessons was developed for the three stages of primary school. The program is based on a sensory science framework and knowledge about increasing vegetable acceptance. Tasting vegetables are a critical part of each lesson. An online teacher training module with theory and implementation information supports the program.

Vegetable Education Resource To Increase Children’s Acceptance and Liking (VERTICAL)

The effectiveness of VERTICAL was tested in a large trial of students from 25 New South Wales and South Australian schools.

Compared with students following the regular curriculum, students in the VERTICAL program significantly increased their knowledge about vegetables, ability to verbalise sensations, vegetable acceptance, intentions to increase vegetable consumption, willingness to try vegetables, and the number of new vegetables consumed.

The project team developed and evaluated the tools (lesson materials and teacher training) and platform (website) that will allow for national school access to this program. Teachers were positive about the delivery of the program and felt that it aligned well to the curriculum. Face-to-face teacher training, in addition to the online support, had some benefits for engaging teachers but did not affect student outcomes.

Consultation with nutrition and education experts helped determine the best model for national roll-out of the program, with a state-by-state approach recommended.  

The project team also developed a financial business model for national rollout, which included target phases to achieve uptake. This recommends that the VERTICAL program is initially promoted through media communications, with continued investment from State Governments and suitable delivery and support partners.

Various teaching materials were produced by the project, including lesson manuals, training modules and in-class supports. The team developed a new website called Taste and Learn to provide information about the program and access to learning materials.


Visit the Taste and Learn website to find out more about this important education program and access materials.

Read this announcement about the project from AusVeg in December 2016: Veg industry teaching kids their ABCs – Artichokes, Broccoli and Carrots.




Related levy funds

978 0 7341 4587 1

Funding statement:
This project was funded through the Hort Innovation Vegetable Fund using the vegetable R&D levy and contributions from the Australian Government

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2020. The Final Research Report (in part or as a whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation, except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).