Healthy Schools: Food Smart

Community & Education Health & Wellbeing

Improving education and awareness about food nutrition in our region

PECT is working in partnership with Everyone Health to support primary schools and early years services in the region to adopt a positive approach towards healthy eating and nutrition.

Working as part of a wider ‘Healthy Schools’ programme, PECT aims to create environments that support children and their families to improve their well-being, as well as understanding the importance of adopting healthy behaviours.

We offer training, lesson plans and resources for teachers to build their awareness and confidence in food education, plus opportunities for students to learn more about and take part in workshops to discover, how our food affects us, how it is grown, where it comes from and a variety of different cooking methods.

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Why are we doing it?

In Cambridgeshire, the National Child Measurement Programme 2016/17 reported that nearly one in five Reception age children are overweight or obese, while the numbers increased to one in four pupils by Year 6.

The figures are alarming because there is strong evidence about the association between children’s health and well-being and educational attainment. Put simply, when children are healthy and happy, they can also achieve more.

As part of PECT’s Environmental Education Programme we have developed an Eco Charter for schools. It provides them with a clear structure to support their eco activities and demonstrate their achievements. Similarly, our ‘Healthy Schools’ workshops will incorporate an accreditation element to measure, recognise and celebrate progress.

Food and nutrition is a major part of all our lives; it impacts us both physically and mentally and this is no different for children. A healthy diet has a positive impact on how well children do in school as well as their overall health and well-being. According to the government’s childhood obesity plan for action, obesity rates in children are higher than ever before and so our focus on improving the diets of children is ever more urgent.

Getting children to eat well is a challenge. We know that children aren’t getting enough fruit, vegetables and fibre, are eating too many foods that are high in saturated fats and salt and are eating double the amount of sugar recommended.

We can play a crucial part in turning this around by:

  • Teaching children about being healthy
  • Allowing children to develop their cooking skills
  • Giving children the opportunity to grow fresh food

Healthy Schools is here to support schools and address these issues by offering opportunities for children to get hands-on with food. It encourages schools to take a whole approach to food including snacks, school meals and packed lunches. According to Public Health England, schools who take a ‘whole-school approach’, providing healthy meals to all students, show academic improvements at key stage 1 and 2.

As a partner, PECT will be supporting schools in being able to achieve this through teacher CPD, in-school workshops, lesson plans and resource provision as well as whole school approaches and parent engagement.

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Discover more

If you would like to get involved from September 2019 we will be offering in-school lessons, assemblies, parents evenings, and teaching training sessions on healthy eating and nutrition so please do get in touch.

For more information contact 01733 568408 or email education@pect.org.uk.

For more information about the wider programme, visit https://healthyschools.info