Illawarra kindy kids are being encouraged to Eat it to Beat it - beat cancer that is.
A program being rolled out at schools across the region by the NSW Cancer Council southern region aims to help parents and children create lunch boxes full of healthy food.
Regional program co-ordinator Tina Hunt said the program provided parents with advice, recipes and resources to promote a "cancer-smart" lifestyle.
"We know if kids and parents increase their fruit and vegetable intake by less than half a cup of cooked veg per day or as little as a third of a piece of fruit, they could reduce their risk of certain types of cancer by around 20 per cent," Ms Hunt said.
"So this program aims to give parents some great ideas on how to get some extra fruit and veg into their child's day - and how to make it more exciting, yummy and budget-friendly."
It was Figtree Public School's turn to host the healthy lunch box demonstration at a kindergarten orientation session last week.
The message hit home for Cordeaux Heights mother of three Julie Lozano, who is having treatment for melanoma.
"Since my diagnosis three years ago, healthy eating has become part of my lifestyle," Mrs Lozano said.
"I think it's great that the Cancer Council is running this program in schools to educate parents, as kids will often model their eating behaviour on what mum or dad is doing."
NSW Cancer Council nutrition program manager Clare Hughes said the Eat it to Beat it program was one of a number of community programs sending positive messages about healthy eating.
Ms Hughes said through such programs, the organisation hoped to engage community members in their ongoing efforts to advocate for better junk food marketing regulations.
"We know that food marketing influences children's food preferences and the foods they pester their parents for," she said.
"Eating unhealthy foods increases the chances of being overweight and obese, which are risk factors for a number of cancers including bowel, kidney, esophageal, endometrial and pancreatic.
"So we want to limit children's exposure to messages for unhealthy foods."
Ms Hughes said governments needed to "step in" to impose restrictions on "unhealthy" food advertising in television, print media, online and other channels.
"There needs to be a comprehensive regulatory look at the range of ways food is promoted in order to help address childhood obesity," she said.