Three pupils � Ella-Mae Joshua, Year 6, Pilling Primary, Axel Francis, Year 3, Harford Primary, and Aisha John-Bagley, Year 4, St Paul's Primary have been declared the winners for their schools in the first ever 'Lunch Off' competition.
Healthier drinks and food are one focus area of the Health Promotion Strategic Framework 2018-19, which aims to reduce the incidence of chronic conditions such as type two diabetes and heart disease on St Helena. It is working with merchants and institutions on-Island to improve the availability of healthier items, and on the other side, encouraging and helping families and institutions understand how to adjust their usual meals, snacks and drinks to make a big difference for health.
The 'Lunch Off' was one part of this, and focused on helping parents, schools, and children to ensure the children's lunches are healthier in easy practical ways. The Lunch Off builds on some excellent work already being done in schools, such as 'Fruity Fridays', encouraging more water drinking, and expanding opportunities for physical activity.
In the 'Lunch Off' competition which took place at each Primary School in February and March, class teachers held awareness and design sessions for children from Year 3 upwards to design their healthier lunch. The emphasis was on including popular items and things that are easier to get or buy and make. Parents of the Lunch-Off pupils received some information to help their children put their designs into practice. On Lunch Off day the children's lunches were assessed by a panel of judges, including representatives from the Education Committee, Merchants, and Health Directorate. A winner for each school was chosen, that best demonstrated a healthy lunch that was also easy to make, included items that were easily available, and things that the children would enjoy eating. All participants received certificates for taking part.
Chair of the Education Committee, Councillor Christine Scipio, commented:
Congratulations to all students and thanks to their parents for participating in the 'Lunch Off' competition. Making sure our children have healthy food and drinks is an important part of ensuring they grow up healthy and reduce their risk of the issues that may affect them later in life. What's in their lunchbox can make up to a third of their daily nutrients and provides all of the energy they need to get through an action packed day.
Source: St Helena Government