Primary school pupils hoping to spread healthy eating message across Notts

Pupils at a Nottinghamshire primary school are planning to inspire other children in the community after their successful healthy eating campaign.

Children at Candleby Lane School, in Cotgrave, took on the task this week of researching and then implementing healthy eating into their lifestyles.

It came after teachers conducted an internal survey and found pupils had “very little understanding” of healthy lifestyles, as well as no awareness on the amount of sugar in food.

Year six teacher Aisha Malik, 26, of Carlton, launched the project this week – and now says the children “are consciously making better choices.”

She said: “We found during our survey children were more interested in staying inside and playing on games consoles than going out at break time.

Candleby Lane School, in Cotgrave
Candleby Lane School, in Cotgrave

“We also found they weren’t aware about what it means to eat healthily or lead a healthy lifestyle. So we decided to bring in some changes.

“This week the children have been researching facts and tips on healthy eating and have put a board together with their findings.

“They now want to inspire other children across Nottinghamshire and get the message out to them, as well as other year groups across our school.”

Parents are also getting involved with the new initiative, and are now being encouraged by the pupils to make changes when packing their lunch.

Miss Malik added: “Our children now understand what it means to have a good packed lunch. Before they were filled with crisps or Nutella on sandwiches.

“Now all this week at lunch time they are shouting us over asking if items they have are healthy, and are now checking the labels of food.

“They are consciously making better choices and that’s just from this week alone. They have completely led this campaign by themselves, and we are so proud.”

Gregor Bury, 10, is a year six pupil and said: “We have learnt what happens when you eat too much junk food and have enjoyed learning so much we made the posters.

“We will be handing copies out around the school and displaying a big version in the school to get the community involved.

“I have now stopped drinking concentrated drinks, like orange, and have purer stuff like water instead.

“I now eat lots more fruit and feel less tired than I used to.”

Fellow pupil Olivia B-B, 11 added: “I used to eat Nutella on two slices of white toast and found out it had lots of sugar in it. Now I have one slice of brown toast with one percent sugared butter, with a big bowl of fruit.

“I don’t feel as stressed anymore and can fit more into my head.

“If you understand the possibilities of a healthy lifestyle you can make the small changes.”

Headteacher Carl Pattison said: “The recent healthy lifestyle project has enabled our year six children to be responsible for people making choices about leading an active and healthy lifestyle.

“I have been extremely proud of their approach to the work and the enthusiasm they have shown towards learning new knowledge.

“They brought learning to life and enabled our children to take responsibility for improving healthy lifestyles in the local community.”

The school has also reached out to Cotgrave Leisure Centre to display their healthy eating boards – to spread the message far and wide.

Rushcliffe Borough Council’s deputy leader Councillor Debbie Mason said: “We will be delighted with our contractors Parkwood Leisure to display the children’s healthy eating board at Cotgrave Leisure Centre.

“Just like the pupils and teachers at Candleby Lane School, we want to promote healthy lifestyles to everyone in the borough.

“Great opportunities such as this make Rushcliffe a great place to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

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