What is the issue?

To achieve the best health outcomes for the greatest number of people, programs and practices should be delivered effectively at scale and be sustainable over the long term.

How will this program help?

We are trialling how best to implement, at scale, a school based nutrition program (SWAP IT). SWAP IT is an app-based program that helps parents change what they pack in their children’s lunchboxes.

SWAP IT works as part of the SkoolBag App that many schools already use to deliver information to parents and carers. This program has been found to be effective in pilot and effectiveness trials. 

How are we conducting this research?

We are conducting trials in the Hunter New England, Central Coast and Mid North Coast NSW Health Districts to determine how to best implement this effective program at scale. 

Our industry partner SkoolBag are also planning the national dissemination of SWAP IT to all users of the SkoolBag platform nationally (~1500 schools). 

Read our plain language overview: The SWAP IT lunchbox program works and is ready to be used in more schools.

Conversation article: Swap shapes for rice crackers, chips for popcorn… parents can improve their kids’ diet with these healthier lunchbox options.

Find more about the SWAPIT Program on the Good for Kids website.

Research Lead: Rachel Sutherland 


SWAP-IT was a joint winner of the 2022 NSW Health 'Research & Innovation' award.


A collaborative network trial to evaluate the effectiveness of implementation strategies to maximise adoption of a school-based healthy lunchbox program: A study protocol. DOI:

Development and piloting of a Community of Practice to support learning and improvement in health promotion practice within NSW local health districts. DOI:

New models to support parents to pack healthy lunchboxes: Parents acceptability, feasibility, appropriateness, and adoption of the SWAP IT m-Health program. DOI:

Maximising the adoption of a school-based mHealth intervention to improve the nutritional quality of student lunchboxes to ensure population-level impact. DOI: https://10.1002/hpja.579

A systematic review of adaptations and effectiveness of scaled-up nutrition interventions. DOI:

A cross-sectional study to determine the energy density and nutritional quality of primary school lunchboxes. DOI:

Multicomponent mHealth-Based Intervention (SWAP IT) to Decrease the Consumption of Discretionary Foods Packed in School Lunchboxes: Type I Effectiveness–Implementation Hybrid Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. DOI: 

Effectiveness of Technology-Enabled Knowledge Translation Strategies in Improving the Use of Research in Public Health: Systematic Review. DOI:

Economic Analysis