Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 29/01/2016. Tags: Teachers Parenting
Agri Aware, the independent agri-food educational body, last week launched its annual Incredible Edibles initiative – which teaches primary level students how to grow fruit and vegetables, educates them about food origin and the health benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
Children are on average eating less than half a portion of vegetables and just one small portion of fruit each day. By choosing a wide range of fruit and vegetables of different colours, children can help to ensure that they meet all of their vitamin requirements, as different coloured fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients. Agri Aware’s programme will educate students about the importance of a balanced diet for good health and wellbeing.
Agri Aware’s 2016 Incredible Edibles programme which is now in its eight year was launched at Family Farm, developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo, by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D and Minister for Education and Skills, Ms. Jan O’Sullivan T.D.
This year, the Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Health and Children, through the Healthy Ireland framework, have joined Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles patrons along with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Bord Bia and the horticulture industry to support this important healthy eating educational programme for primary level students. Fourth and fifth class students from St Columba’s National School, Glasnevin whose project came second in last year’s Incredible Edibles programme were also at the launch to encourage primary level students to be a part of Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles educational programme in 2016.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Mr. Simon Coveney T.D. welcomed the support of the Department of Health and Children and the Department of Education and Skills in delivering Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles healthy eating programme. He hoped that with this increasing Government support the programme would be taken up by more primary schools, which can only be of a huge benefit in increasing awareness of the production and consumption of healthy Irish produce. He wished everyone involved with Incredible Edibles success in 2016 in learning about and producing nutritious fruit and vegetables.
Agri Aware Chairman, Richard Moeran, said, “Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles project, an initiative backed by industry to enable primary school students to understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet is now eight years old. Obesity and diet related illnesses can be prevented at a young age through knowledge and a change in lifestyle and Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles is a vital part of that strategy”.
Dr. Vanessa Woods, Chief Executive of Agri Aware said, “Every primary school in Ireland now has the resources to grow fruit and vegetables as a result of Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles programme. These students will bring important messages into the home and this is very important when parents are making purchasing decisions. What these students learn now will be carried through to later life, when they are purchasing food themselves. We will continue to educate new students about the importance of healthy eating each year.”
Over 650 schools across Ireland took part in last year’s programme and registration for this year’s project is now open atwww.incredibleedibles.ie.
Schools will receive grow packs, including compost, seeds and curriculum-linked interactive educational resources for students to complete with their teachers throughout the academic year.
Mike Neary of Bord Bia and Incredible Edibles Committee Chairman commented, "I am delighted that the relevant government departments and the horticulture industry are supporting and collaborating on this important initiative which highlights the significance all the project partners place on its core messages and the contribution it can make to changing school children’s behaviour towards an informed and healthy balanced diet."
Commenting at the launch of Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles, Minister for Education, Ms. Jan O’Sullivan T.D. said, “Our young people’s good health is a Government priority. Schools, along with the family and community, must give supportive messages about the importance of quality food and where better to source quality food than to grow it yourself?” She commended Incredible Edibles as an excellent initiative and indicated that her Department will be promoting it to schools.
Minister for Health and Children, Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D. said, “Getting our five a day of fruit and vegetables is a key part of a healthy diet, and it's important that our children develop positive attitudes and skills to make healthy food choices. My Department is delighted to support Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles programme under the Healthy Ireland agenda, as it's a practical and fun way to develop these important skills and attitudes. And this initiative is a good example of the partnership approach needed to support schools, teachers and parents in promoting healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.”
For more information, visit www.incredibleedibles.ie