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Suffolk schoolchildren celebrate healthy club launch

It was a case of ‘breakfast like a King’ for a group of Suffolk pupils this week, as they marked the launch of a new schools initiative designed to educate them on eating healthily and sourcing locally.

Youngsters from Hadleigh Community Primary School have become the first in Suffolk to embark on the Early Birds Breakfast Club™ scheme, organised and implemented by East Anglian charity, Healthy Ambitions.

The programme enables schools to run specially designed clubs which place an emphasis not just on providing healthy nutritious breakfasts, but also on teaching children where their food comes from, how it is cooked, and the importance of eating healthy foods on their future development .
Healthy Ambitions, an East Anglian charity focusing on delivering health initiatives for schools and workplaces, has recently trained dedicated school staff to run the new Early Birds Breakfast Club™ initiative, and commenced a pilot in Norfolk last month.

The clubs focus on using local ingredients, and are supported in this by working with the East of England Co-Op and a host of regional food producers to ensure that children learn about the food that is being produced in the county. The programme involves trained staff preparing the breakfasts with the help of the children, as well as educating them about healthy eating, physical activity and local produce. This new programme builds on a previous pilot in Suffolk in 2013.

Hadleigh Community Primary School’s Deputy Head Teacher Annette Watts is delighted to have become the first Suffolk school to see the club in action.

She said: “This is something we are so excited about, and while we only have a limited number of children taking part in the club initially, we are keen to develop it for more pupils over the coming months.

“This is an opportunity to extend and complement our school commitment to healthy eating and to healthy lifestyles. It fits perfectly with the curriculum and we believe that the children will benefit because a healthy breakfast is so essential in supporting successful learning in the classroom.”

Cara Miller, trustee for Healthy Ambitions, joined the Suffolk launch and helped to prepare the eggy-bread breakfast.

She said: “We are really passionate about the Early Birds Breakfast Club™ programme, and it’s so exciting for the newly trained staff to see it coming to life.

“This is so far from just serving children sugary cereals and a carton of juice at a school desk. Our clubs emphasise locally sourced produce, healthier choices – and really gets the youngsters involved in understanding why these options are better for them, not just for their health but also to improve their learning.

“We don’t want to stop at telling young people what’s healthier, but want to go further and really help them learn more about where their food comes from, our environment and how it creates the produce they see on their plate.”

Healthy Ambitions is keen to hear from any producers wishing to supply produce for the Early Birds Breakfast Club™, or who would like to visit a school to engage with the children and talk more about their food business.

Head Teachers interested in developing an Early Birds Breakfast Club™ for their school should contact Healthy Ambitions.

For more information, call Anne Gartley on 01473 786672.

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