Sports stars will visit schools to talk about healthy eating, reports Maureen McTaggart. If the fibre and exercise lobby have their way, schoolchildren will be pounding the streets in their quest for long life and good health, and the lunch of a chocolate bar and a packet of crisps favoured by many of them will be a thing of the past.
In recent months children have been bombarded with advice from all and sundry on what to eat and how much exercise to take. Now nutritionists and sporting celebrities working with the British Olympic Association have joined the fray over fibre versus fat.
Former Olympic swimmer Suki Brownsdon, and Peggy Wellington, consultant nutritionist with the Amateur Swimming Association, are launching a free nutrition education programme for secondary schools to encourage children to take more exercise and cut down on their consumption of junk food high in fat, sugar and salt.
"We will be trying to encourage children to eat well and not to miss meals - especially breakfast," says Suki Brownsdon. "The aim of the programme is to stress how important it is to consume adequate levels of vitamins and minerals and how these are linked to performance both in physical and mental activity. "
The programme will be run nationally as a supplement to PSE and PE lessons. Nutritionists plan to visit schools to talk to pupils about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Each session will last about 20 minutes, and celebrities from a range of sports will be on hand to answer questions and divulge the secrets of their lunchboxes to give students tips on how to pack a nutritious and tasty midday meal without resorting to the tuck shop.
o Details of the Nutrition Education Programme are available from Tammy Peters on 081 578 5785.