While childhood obesity levels in Ireland are stabilising, at least one in five children are still overweight or obese.

Now, a lunchtime initiative for primary schools from the Irish Bread Bakers Association of Ireland aims to educate children about nutrition, in an effort to make it easier and more convenient for children – and their parents – to create a healthy lunch. 

Designed by teachers and behaviour change experts with the support of Dr Mary McCreery, one of Ireland’s foremost consultant nutritionists and dieticians, the Healthy Heroes Lunch Club encourages children to learn and change their eating habits, educate them about nutrition and boost their activity levels, all whilst having lots of fun in a non-competitive environment.

As part of the Healthy Heroes Lunch Club, children form a lunch club that meets to eat together regularly and where nutrition is addressed informally and in a fun way through teacher-led discussion, using materials provided in the Healthy Heroes Lunch Club pack.

Led by sixth class pupils, the children then take over and run activities, building on suggestions in the Healthy Heroes Lunch pack, which also encourages them to develop their own club games.

The programme contains useful tips and suggestions on ways to include fruit and vegetables in lunch boxes as well as easy – to- understand information on the food pyramid and the contents of the ideal lunch box.

The lunch of the month meanwhile offers plenty of suggestions that are designed to encourage children to have a more balanced lunch.

For more information on how schools can get involved in the Healthy Heroes Lunch Club, email healthyheroes@realnation.ie