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Healthy breaks: tasty tips for the under fives


Public Health Agency

Subject Keywords: Healthy eating scheme, Children, Healthy school
Topic: Obesity
Catalogue: Interventions
Type: Project
Region: Northern Ireland

Today the Public Health Agency (PHA) is launching a new resource pack designed to assist nursery schools and playgroups deliver a healthy breaks scheme.All nursery schools and playgroups in Northern Ireland will receive the pack - 'Healthy breaks for pre-school children' - which includes a poster and information leaflets for parents explaining why a healthy break is so important for pre-school children and some tips and ideas for healthy nutritious breaks. Judith Hanvey, Regional Food in Schools Co-ordinator, appointed jointly by the PHA and the Department of Education, said: "Break-time snacking schemes currently operate in many pre-school settings across Northern Ireland, however they are implemented in different ways. The PHA has developed this new guidance so that any existing or future schemes have the information that they need to deliver a healthy break programme." Judith explained why a healthy break is so important for pre-school pupils. "Young children have small stomachs but high requirements for energy (calories) and nutrients. This means that healthy snacks between meals are very important to make sure that they get all the nourishment they need.  "Childhood is also an important time to establish good eating and drinking habits for later life. "Healthy eating schemes give children the knowledge and opportunity to make healthier choices." The Department of Education and Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety recently launched 'Healthy Food for Healthy Outcomes: Food in Schools Policy', which builds on the nutritional standards which were introduced in 2007 by the Department of Education. The policy encourages a 'whole school approach' to all food and drink provided and consumed in schools. This ensures that children have the opportunity to benefit from a healthy balanced diet, which can aid learning, leading to improved educational outcomes. It also requires that every school should have their own whole-school food policy in place by September 2014. Nursery schools that receive funding from the Department of Education must follow this policy. This is also in line with the position taken by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety's 10 year obesity prevention strategy, A Fitter Future for All, which aims to take a consistent approach to healthy food within early years settings.





Rights: © Public
Suggested citation:

Public Health Agency. (2014) Healthy breaks: tasty tips for the under fives [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 20th September 2019].


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