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Healthy Lunchbox Toolkit Launch 13 February 2007

The Isle of Man Healthy Lunchbox Toolkit project will be launched on 15 February 2007 at St Johns School. The toolkits follow on from an audit of school meals (2005) and a packed lunch audit (2006).

The packed lunch audit found –

  • Between 33% - 60% of lunchboxes audited contained NO fruit or vegetables at all
  • The average sugar content in lunchboxes was more than DOUBLE recommended levels.
  • Lunchboxes in all schools audited would benefit from more iron, calcium and fibre rich foods.

Minister for Education, Mrs A Craine, MHK said

“I welcome the introduction of the lunchbox toolkit. All parents want the best for their children and a healthy lunch, whether that is a school meal or a packed lunch is one step in the right direction. Children need the right types of nutrients to grow and flourish.

The Member of Tynwald with responsibility for Health, Mrs Pamela Crowe MLC said

“Getting it right in the first place is all important and together we can help to give them the right start towards a lifetime of healthy eating.”

The Toolkits will provide primary school teaching staff with easy to use resources which can be used across the curriculum to reinforce the principles of a balanced diet.

Mr Nigel Bennet, headteacher at St Johns School said

“Since opening our salad and fruit bar more children are having school dinners. At the same time those on packed lunches are also eating more healthily.”

Handy take-home packs (in recycled paper bags) have been prepared for all primary age children, containing general information on healthy eating as well as specific information about recent improvements to school meals in the Isle of Man along with tips and hints for packed lunches.

Lez Dorward, Director of Health Promotion adds

“We are delighted with the team effort that went into the audit and development of the toolkits. Encouraging and supporting children and families to make even the smallest changes is a step in the right direction.”

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