Celebration of food to mark Healthy Eating Week

Food for Life programme

Posted on: 9 June 2016

To mark British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Eating Week (13–17 June 2016), schools across Devon are celebrating the results of the Food for Life programme.

The programme brings schools, early years settings, hospitals and care homes together with their communities around the core ethos of healthy, tasty and sustainable food.

Food for Life’s aim is to improve food culture, and bring people from all over the school together, as well as create links with local farms through farm visits.  Food for Life schools in Devon have started up food growing activities, family cooking sessions, and are creating a positive dining experience for children and working with catering companies to provide more nutritious and sustainable food in school meals.

The school award provides support to take a whole-school approach to food and nutrition and is an effective way to demonstrate the work that has been done to provide healthy school meals and food education that has a positive impact on pupils and the wider community.

Sarah Padbury, Head of Learning at Littleham C of E School, said: “The impact of Food for Life has been immense on our school and pupils. It has provided a structure and enabled us to pull together many of our aims and aspirations regarding food, health and wellbeing education.

“The support and resources have also been invaluable. I am confident that so much more has happened at our school in terms of embracing the idea of a positive food culture as a result of our Bronze and Silver award achievements.

“Children have completed farm visits, cooked with their parents at school on a regular basis and staff feel better informed about what foods to grow when.

“Food for Life inspired us as a school to take action and purchase a polytunnel, and a cookit kit and use these items to full effect.”

Currently 13 schools in Devon hold a Food for Life award, with Buckfastleigh Primary School being recently awarded with bronze and Marpool Primary in Exmouth, Okehampton Primary and Whipton Barton Federation hoping to achieve the silver award by the end of the summer term. School catering company Devon Norse has also recently been awarded the Food for Life Silver Catering Mark for serving fresh and healthy meals.

The Food for Life programme is popular with public health teams across the country. Independently evaluated, it has been shown to have an impact on children’s diet and health, improve educational attainment, support local enterprise and tackle inequalities.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said:

“We have been pleased to support Food for Life in schools over the past 4 years, giving the children and families involved a better knowledge of where food comes from and the nutritional benefits of healthy food, and encouraging a love of growing, cooking and making food.”

Dr Virginia Pearson, Devon Director of Public Health, said: “Healthy Eating Week offers a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all the fantastic work Food for Life has done with schools, families and local farms.

“Understanding the importance of a balanced, nutritious diet is vital to a child’s health and the programme introduces a fun and inclusive way to introduce practical ideas and activities for the whole family.”

For more information about Food for Life and the opportunities available visit the website or contact Polly Frost.

Schools are able to get involved with Food for Life through several opportunities:

  • Purchase a membership to Food for Life to have access to resources and guides to award application.
  • Purchase the School Awards Package, which will enable schools to apply for Food for Life awards through use of the resources and support.
  • Collaboration of multiple schools to fund the award applications with a dedicated local programme manager to advise and support.

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing