Incredible Edibles Growing Project Promotes Healthy Food Culture in Irish Primary Schools
Galway School is crowned the 2018 Incredible Edibles Winners
This September, fourth class students from St Patrick’s Primary School in Galway were recognised as the 2018 Incredible Edibles first place winners. Almost 1,300 schools across Ireland participated in the 2018 Incredible Edibles programme. The winners were celebrated at a local awards ceremony this month, with Liam Edwards, the President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), in attendance.
Commenting on the programme, he said: “The aim of this programme is to increase knowledge about healthy food produce, origin and quality at a primary school level. This is something that I support on both a personal and professional level as I have three young boys attending primary school and I want them to learn about how fresh, healthy produce can improve their daily lives. I’m very impressed with the fourth class of St Patrick’s School in Galway and I wholeheartedly congratulate them on their well-deserved win. I would also like to give thanks to the amazing teachers without whom this programme could not have been achieved.”
Teachers involved in Incredible Edibles guided their students through five curriculum-linked interactive tasks to complete throughout the academic year. These tasks are designed to connect students with their new gardens and the healthy food that they are producing. Teachers keep a record of these tasks in a logbook, which are then submitted at the end of the project, in hopes of winning prizes.
The winners also received a visit from Agri Aware’s Mobile Farm, as well as appearances from famous Irish dietitian Aoife Hearne of Operation Transformation, and several industry figures.
Aoife Hearne spoke to the primary students about the importance of healthy eating and the benefits of staying active.
She commented: “Putting fresh produce, be it fruits, vegetables, healthy carbohydrates such as potatoes and herbs at the centre of your diet is the key to optimum health and well-being. We are now recommended to eat 5-to-7 portions of fruit and vegetables every day, however, the national average consumption remains half of that (3.5). Therefore, reconnecting children with where their food comes from has never been more important. Research tells us that school gardening programmes greatly influence healthy food choices amongst children and results in a greater understanding of healthy eating. It is therefore great to see growing programmes like Incredible Edibles, encouraging children of all ages to get busy in the garden and grow a colourful array of fresh produce, in an effort to achieve this 7-a-day target.”
Wednesday’s ceremony marked the end of a successful 2018 programme. Agri Aware will prepare to launch the 2019 Incredible Edibles project in the upcoming weeks. For more information and to register, please visit the Incredible Edibles website.
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