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Healthy Eating Week is an annual event organised by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF). Taking place from Monday 10th June – Friday 14th June, the week aims to raise awareness about the importance of healthy eating and sustainable food choices. Schools, early years settings, workplaces, and community groups are encouraged to celebrate nutrition, champion healthy habits, and educate our young minds on the importance of a balanced diet. By making small changes to student’s habits when it comes to healthy eating, we can influence the food choices they make as they grow.

Why Focus on Healthy Eating?

A balanced diet is essential for students, whose bodies and brains are developing rapidly, to grow, learn, and be active. During Healthy Eating Week, we focus on five key themes:

  • 5 a day – Aim to eat at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily. These colourful foods provide vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
  • Hydration – Drinking enough water is crucial for maintaining good health.
  • Movement – Physical activity is essential for maintaining a healthy weight and strong bones. Softly urge students to be active, whether through sports, dance, or outdoor play. It is important for students to find a type of movement they love.
  • Fibre – Whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables are great sources of fibre. Fibre supports digestion and helps prevent constipation.
  • Reduce food waste – Teach students about food waste reduction. Plan meals, use leftovers creatively, and compost leftovers.

Healthy Eating Activities for Schools

We’ve listed examples of projects you could bring to your school to engage your students with eating healthily.

  • Morning fruit and vegetable break – Organise a daily fruit and vegetable break during morning snack time. Encourage students to try different fruits and vegetables. This can also link with your Natural Environment sustainability actions. By growing fruit-bearing trees in your school grounds, students can pick their own fruit at break and lunch times during the Summer.
  • Cooking workshops – Invite local healthy food programmes to conduct cooking workshops or organise internally. Students can learn how to prepare simple and nutritious meals and learn about the healthy eating plate. This can also encourage students to try new foods.
  • Healthy eating assemblies, workshops, and parent’s evenings – Educate your students and parents/guardians on the healthy eating plate and champion a balanced diet within your school. It is important to limit sugar intake in children. High sugar contents can be hidden in everyday snack and drink items, such as sweetened water and wrapped bars. It is best to opt for naturally derived sugars in fruits and slow-release energy in foods like complex carbohydrates, wholemeal bread, and bananas. Schools in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire can book a one-to-one consultation with Food Smart Support here – they can help you create a manageable action plan personalised to suit your school’s needs free of charge.
  • Hydration stations – Set up water stations around the school for students to refill their water bottles throughout the day. Nudge students to stay hydrated throughout the day. This can be done in a fun and interactive way, for example a gold star or equivalent for refilling their water bottle.
  • Incorporate special days in your school canteen – For example, Meatless Mondays or Whole Grain Wednesdays can motivate students to try healthier food options in a fun and engaging way. It is also important to encourage the uptake of school meals, as they are on average the healthier and cheaper alternative for students and parents/guardians. Choosing school meals also will reduce food waste including food wrapping.
  • Teaching the importance of eating local and seasonal foods – If your school has a garden where fresh produce is grown, this is a fantastic educational opportunity for understanding where food comes from and the importance of local and seasonal produce for better health and environmental awareness.

Limited-time free resource: Healthy eating also means being mindful of the impact of our food choices on our planet – access our new free resource ‘Pizza Miles’ to explore the topic of how our food gets to us.

Members Only: Explore the Library of Resources with your dashboard for more food resources to support your sustainability action plans and healthy eating journeys. You can also browse other food related events in our interactive calendar.

Read more:

1Research Addict, 2020

2Healthy Education Research, 2006

3Nutrition Research Reviews, 2023[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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