County Limerick students are healthy food heroes

Murroe National School Healthy Heroes Emma Long, Jack O'Shea, Ella Slattery, Seraleigh O'Loughlin and Julia Roche.

A COUNTY Limerick National School has been named ‘Healthy Heroes’ School of the Month for January, thanks to the students’ efforts in promoting healthy eating.

Scoil Mhuire in Murroe is among hundreds of primary schools  participating in the Healthy Heroes Lunch Club initiative which aims to educate children on nutrition, physical activity and how to improve their lunchtime habits.

Teacher Patricia Griffin said that her pupils love taking part in the initiative and the enjoyment they get from talking about their healthy lunchboxes, and how they prepare their lunches is clear to see.

“We can see the eagerness with which the older children in particular approach the structured activities and helping younger pupils to make healthy food choices,” she added.

Organised by the Irish Bread Bakers Association (IBBA) and Bord Bia, the Healthy Heroes Lunch Club was designed by teachers and behaviour change experts with the support of Dr Mary McCreery, one of Ireland’s foremost consultant nutritionists and dieticians.

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It gives children the opportunity to foster leadership, teamwork and communication skills, while learning to stay active and eat healthily. Now in its ninth year, the programme allows pupils and teachers to learn about lunchtime nutrition and boost their activity levels.

The programme involves a peer learning approach with sixth class pupils mentoring younger  on the importance of nutrition and being active. This provides the younger children with important role models, while the older children have an opportunity to foster leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.

Project overseer Sarah FitzGerald said the feedback from the pupils at Scoil Mhuire was very  encouraging.

“We’re delighted that Healthy Heroes is helping to make a real difference. School lunchtime is an important opportunity to develop positive attitudes towards food choices and nutrition.  Incorporating healthy eating habits from a young age and in a playful environment is a vital stepping stone to their future food habits.”

More information on how schools can get involved here

Murroe National School Healthy Heroes Mikey Bubula, Amira Slattery and Hailee Guerin.