Whitehouse pupils get five-a-day message delivered with a twist

BACK ROW L-R: Ms Claire McIntosh, P3 teacher; Jane McClenaghan, Director Vital Nutrition; Dr Janice McConnell, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
FRONT ROW: P4 pupils from Whitehouse Primary School who participated in the Healthy Eating Workshop
BACK ROW L-R: Ms Claire McIntosh, P3 teacher; Jane McClenaghan, Director Vital Nutrition; Dr Janice McConnell, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council FRONT ROW: P4 pupils from Whitehouse Primary School who participated in the Healthy Eating Workshop

Primary pupils at Whitehouse School have just taken part in an innovative workshop encougaging them to ‘eat a rainbow’ of colours as a way of getting their ‘five a day’.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council’s Public Health Nutritionist, Dr Janice McConnell teamed up with Nutritional Therapist Jane McClenaghan to deliver the workshop to P3 and P4 pupils.

Part of the school’s health and wellbeing week, it was part-funded by the Northern Trust’s Northern Obesity Partnership (NOP) and forms part of a wider Council-driven programme designed to bring about long-term change in eating habits among primary school children.

The children participated in both educational and interactive food skills sessions, promoting the Eatwell Guide for healthy eating, with particular emphasis on fruit and vegetables. With recent statistics from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) indicating only eight per cent of children are currently eating five-a-day, the workshop encouraged pupils to increase their current intake of vegetables and fruit, and ‘eat a rainbow’ of colours. They were also encouraged to replace sugary snacks and drinks with fruit and vegetables.

Teachers were provided with a range of support materials and activities to reinforce learning from the workshop into the curriculum and support the ongoing implementation of the school’s packed lunch policy and school nutrition standards.

Claire McIntosh of Whitehouse PS, said: “The teachers here are fully committed to ensuring that pupils have access to healthier choices within the school and are equipped to develop lifelong dietary habits for their health and wellbeing. We are therefore very excited to work with the Council to help improve children’s food choices”.