Schools across Ireland encouraged to register for leading school nutrition programme
Healthy Heroes Lunch Club, one of Ireland’s leading primary school nutrition programmes, created by teachers and behaviour change experts, has issued a call for schools to register as soon as possible as places quickly fill up. Now in its tenth year, Healthy Heroes Lunch Club is an initiative supported by the Irish Bread Bakers Association . The programme offers children the opportunity to foster valuable leadership, teamwork and communication skills, all while learning to change their eating habits for the better. To-date, almost 300,000 pupils across the island of Ireland have taken part in the programme, and teachers are being encouraged to sign up for this year’s intake.
According to Food Technologist and a Chartered Scientist Oonagh Monahan, who supports the programme, the Healthy Heroes Lunch Club empowers children to make healthy food choices, that can stay with them for life.
“The friendly, supporting environment of the classroom is the perfect place to help improve children’s knowledge of the nutritional value of the food they eat. Incorporating healthy eating habits as part of our everyday lives is one of the most impactful steps we can take, and the earlier we begin the better.”
The school lunch box should provide about 25% – 35% of a child’s energy and nutrient needs. Yet studies have shown that packed lunches are deficient in “healthy” foods and tend to be high in sugar, saturated fat and salt, while low on starchy foods and fibre.”
Broadcaster and Healthy Heroes Lunch Club Ambassador Marie Crowe knows all too well the importance of a healthy school lunch.
“As a mum of three boys I am acutely aware of how difficult it can sometimes be to make sure they head out the door with a healthy lunchbox every day. The Healthy Heroes Lunch Club programme is fantastic as it educates both children and adults on the best options that offer both great taste and nutritional value. It also fosters a lovely sense of mentorship with those children in fifth and sixth class as they play such a crucial part in helping younger students with the programme. “