Students across Offaly will be kept busy throughout May as Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles Healthy Eating Month challenges students to record their daily intake of potatoes, fruit and vegetables.
Launched in Family Farm (developed by Agri Aware and Dublin Zoo) by Shane McEntee, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the month long initiative will see students note their consumption of these nutritious foods in a special healthy eating diary as part of the overall Incredible Edibles initiative.
With childhood obesity levels in Ireland reaching epidemic proportions, Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles is a healthy eating initiative that encourages primary school children to eat more potatoes, fruit and vegetables. The project, now in its fourth year, is delivered by Agri Aware and is supported by Bord Bía, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) and the Irish horticulture industry.
The sponsors of the Incredible Edibles project will deliver healthy eating awareness activities, demonstrations and food tastings as part of Incredible Edibles Healthy Eating month at Family Farm, Dublin Zoo during May.
These sponsors have also begun to incorporate the Incredible Edibles characters on the packaging of their Irish potatoes, fruit and vegetables, for another part of the initiative, the Incredible Edibles collecting challenge. Students nationwide are collecting the Incredible Edibles tokens and/or the Bord Bía Quality Mark from Irish potatoes, fruit and vegetables to win some amazing prizes for their class. The public are encouraged to help out by collecting the tokens and/or the Quality Mark from Irish potatoes, fruit and vegetables in support of their local school(s) participating in the project.
Speaking at the launch, Minister McEntee commented, “In light of the current levels of obesity, especially in our younger population, and the overall need to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, I am very pleased that the Incredible Edibles has evolved to have a stronger emphasis on the need to increase consumption; I see Healthy Eating Month as a key part of this process”.
Encouraging a positive attitude to healthy eating, Bernard Donohue, Chairman of Agri Aware said, “Incredible Edibles Healthy Eating month is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to communicate the importance of healthy eating to children. We need to get our children eating more potatoes, fruit and vegetables, and Incredible Edibles Healthy Eating month is a fun and challenging way to do this.”
Mike Neary, Chairman of the Incredible Edibles Committee commented, “We are coming into the time of the year when increasing volumes of locally grown new season produce is becoming available. This is an ideal time of the year to be promoting the increased consumption of seasonal fresh produce and the role it plays in a healthy balanced diet, particularly for school children”.