Whitehouse Primary School pupils learn key lesson about health

Mrs Rachel Watson (teacher), Mr Frazer Bailie (Headmaster), Dr Janice McConnell (Public Health Nutritionist for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council), Miss Claire McIntosh (teacher), Jack Crothers and Evie Sloan. INNT 02-803CON
Mrs Rachel Watson (teacher), Mr Frazer Bailie (Headmaster), Dr Janice McConnell (Public Health Nutritionist for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council), Miss Claire McIntosh (teacher), Jack Crothers and Evie Sloan. INNT 02-803CON

Pupils have been learning about the importance of healthy eating during the annual health and wellbeing week at Whitehouse Primary.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Council’s public health nutritionist, Dr Janice McConnell, explained the importance of reducing the amount of ‘free sugar’ that the children were consuming. She also discussed the benefits of increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption.

Speaking after the event, Dr McConnell said: “Recent studies show that on average less than one tenth of children are consuming the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, while current intakes of free sugars are at least three times the new recommendation. Tackling

these habits in childhood through education and behaviour design can play a pivotal role in the prevention of a range of chronic diseases in adulthood, as well as optimising overall health and wellbeing.”

Mr Frazer Bailie, headmaster of Whitehouse Primary School commented: “We are very excited by our ‘New Year, New You’ week’. The focus on good eating habits is an area of particular importance. Not only does it help to address the public concerns over obesity but it helps our pupils learn more effectively by improving their concentration. Our hope is that this week is a perfect start to 2016 for our pupils and our community.”

The annual event started in 2014. Pupils also learn about oral health, physical activity, emotional intelligence and aspirational thinking.