A new project aiming to help children and families eat more healthily is to be trialled on the Isle of Wight.
The island has been selected as one of only 12 areas to take part in a pilot project with the School Food Trust called Eat Better, Start Better. The initiative will help families with children of pre-school age budget for and cook healthy meals.
The project builds on extensive research that establishes healthy eating in a child’s pre-school years as being critical to healthy growth, development and academic achievement later in life.
The Eat Better, Start Better pilot will be based around the Island’s network of Children’s Centres. Beginning in September, it will involve a series of sessions in which families will be helped to plan healthy and affordable menus and also given lessons in how to prepare the meals. It will also deliver advice and support to nurseries and pre-schools.
The council is providing £4,000 to support the project that will involve training children’s centre staff and volunteers to run the nine courses over the year.
Councillor Dawn Cousins, Isle of Wight Council member for children’s services and education, said: “There is no doubt that a healthy diet is a key factor in a child’s development. This course is about helping parents plan and prepare healthy and affordable meals at a time when many families are under financial pressures.
“I am delighted that our network of excellent children’s centres are at the heart of this very worthwhile initiative. It demonstrates the comprehensive range of services that are available to residents from these eight centres.”
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