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Footballers Kick Off Healthy Eating For Schools

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar has officially launched a project, in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), to encourage school children to eat healthily and live a more balanced lifestyle. Local school children, teachers, FSA representatives and some famous faces from the world of football attended the launch at the Old Trafford stadium.

The project, called Something to Chew On, uses Manchester United players to teach primary school children about being healthy. The Manchester United Foundation has received the funding to develop the project over three years and will work in partnership with the FSA, local and regional healthy schools teams, and local authorities.

Each school in which the Foundation delivers Something to Chew On will receive a full teacher resource pack so that the project will be sustainable for future pupils.

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Something to Chew On, which is funded by the FSA and the Premier League/Professional Footballers' Association Community Fund, was piloted in Salford schools last year. The programme uses an interactive approach to teaching children about keeping healthy and covers food, nutrition and getting active, but with a football focus. Topics, based on the Agency’s food competency framework, include: diet and health, food safety, consumer awareness and food preparation. As well as classroom sessions, there are practical sessions that cover football, fitness and controlling body movement to motivate children to be active.

Edwin Van der Sar, Manchester United First Team goalkeeper, said: ‘Aspiring to have and maintaining a balanced lifestyle for children and families is a message that is very important to me. Every day I get up with my kids and we eat breakfast together. I will usually have some sandwiches and my kids might have cereal.

‘I have been impressed with the Something to Chew On programme and I’m very pleased to be so involved.’

Rosemary Hignett, Head of Nutrition at the Agency, said: 'Learning how to choose, cook and eat safe, healthy food from a young age is an invaluable tool and we are delighted to be involved in this excellent programme. As well as gaining essential food skills, young people will be given the opportunity to get active through football.

'The skills young people will develop through these activities will both be fun and interesting, but more importantly they will hopefully have a positive and lasting impact through to their adult lives.'