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Healthy Heroes October Launch

Date: 01/11/2021


Peer learning schools programme aims to change children’s eating habits

Healthy Heroes, the popular lunchtime nutrition programme is underway in hundreds of primary schools around the country as the Irish Bread Bakers Association and Bord Bia join forces again to help children improve their eating habits and fitness levels. Studies show that just one in ten Irish children (13%) meet the national physical activity guidelines1, while at least one in five nationally are still overweight or obese2.

Created by teachers and behaviour change experts, with the support of Dr Mary McCreery, one of Ireland’s leading consultant nutritionists and dieticians, the programme recognises the importance of intervening early so children develop healthy eating behaviours before they leave primary school.  Using a novel peer-led approach, it aims to increase the nutritional value of the lunch box with useful tips and suggestions on ways to include fruit and vegetables as well as easy-to-understand information on the food pyramid.

Ailbhe Byrne, FDI Public Affairs Executive, IBBA says “Healthy Heroes is now in its eighth year and is still as popular as ever amongst teachers and students. School lunchtime is an important opportunity to develop positive attitudes towards food choices and nutrition, leading to life-long eating habits. Furthermore, children can be a very important influence over their peers eating and exercise habits, so the peer learning approach is central to its success.”

“Primary School is a time when many changes take place which is why nutrition is so important”, says Dr Elizabeth Finnegan, Healthy Eating Executive, Bord Bia. “A lot of growth happens in these years and children need the right balance of nutrients to help them reach their full potential. Variety is extremely important when it comes to this age group and children should be exposed to new flavours, textures and recipes to encourage them to be more adventurous with their food choices. It is great to see programmes like Healthy Heroes encouraging this type of in school and at home activity.”

For more information on the programme visit Irishbread.ie.

About Healthy Heroes

Healthy Heroes is a primary schools’ lunchtime initiative from the Irish Bread Bakers Association (IBBA) and Bord Bia, which aims to help children to change their eating and fitness habits for the better. 

Designed by teachers and behaviour change experts with the support of Dr Mary McCreery, one of Ireland’s leading consultant nutritionists and dieticians, the programme allows children to learn about nutrition and boost their activity levels, all while having lots of fun in a non-competitive environment.  This includes easy – to- understand information on the food pyramid and the contents of the ideal lunch box to encourage children to have a more balanced lunch and become more engaged in the ingredients used.

Almost 1,800 schools across the country have participated in the programme since it began eight years ago

About the Irish Bread Bakers Association

The Irish Bread Bakers Association (IBBA) represents the interests of the Irish bread baking industry. The Association closely monitors all issues affecting the membership including retail issues, competition and retail law and regulatory developments.

About Bord Bia

Bord Bia works to bring Ireland’s outstanding food, drink, and horticulture to the world, thus enabling growth and sustainability of producers. It supports the national and international ambitions of these businesses through its highly focused organisational structure and its global network of offices.