Updated: 01/12/17 : 06:00:22
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Sligo pupils on proteins, vegetables and carbs nutri-safari

There was great excitement among the aisles of SuperValu Ballisodare this month, as the young explorers from St. Teresa’s National School went on a safari with a tasty twist. The SuperValu Nutri-Safari is part of the Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare programme, Ireland's first ever health homework programme, and aims to teach children about nutrition and the importance of healthy eating in a fun and interactive way.

As the Official Healthy Eating Partner of the Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare programme, Sligo SuperValu stores are opening their doors to local schools enabling primary school children to take a trip around the supermarket in an entirely different way – picking up tips on nutrition, wellbeing and fun recipe ideas, while getting to tantalise their tastebuds with some healthy bites. 

With their expert guide, Dietitian Marie Boyce, St. Teresa’s National School students visited different stations throughout their local store inspired by the food pyramid; Fruit and Veg, Dairy, Bakery, Butchery and Fish. At each appetising stop, students were given plenty of food for thought from their Nutri-Safari Guides Head Butcher Adrian Keanan, Bakers Teresa Mooney and Nicola Kierans, and the Head of Fresh Produce, Tony O’Reilly.

                               Checking out the nutritious food. Photo: Frances Muldoon

At each stop on this adventure students were given the opportunity to examine, experiment and taste a wide range of food and drinks, which some students may not have been exposed to previously such as Goat’s cheese or nut milks.  In this stimulating environment children learned the benefits of eating and drinking different food types for example cheese as a source of protein for growth and repair in the body, or the importance of fish as a source of Omega3.

Speaking in relation to the SuperValu Nutri-Safari, Supervalu Ballisodare Store Manager Ray Carthy commented, “The SuperValu Nutri-Safari today in-store was a roaring success! We are thrilled to be the Official Healthy Eating Partner of the Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare programme, as it gives us the opportunity to highlight the importance of nutrition in a fun and interactive way.  Children are becoming interested in cooking and food at a much younger age today, so it is important that they know some of the basics of how food can fuel their body.

“My team and I were amazed by some of the questions and knowledge that the students of St. Teresa’s National School had, and we loved to see them pushing themselves outside of their comfort zones trying new and unusual foods.” added Ray.

All students who took part in the Nutri-Safari received a jam-packed goodie bag to take home and continue their food journey. These goodie bags included recipe cards, nutritional information leaflets, healthy snacks and fruit.

Now in its fourth year, Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare has grown from strength to strength with 233,000 children, 1,484 schools, 15,000 teachers and 150,000 families currently taking part. This health homework programme aims to encourage children, parents and teachers to treat the tasks of daily physical activity, healthy eating and wellbeing with the same importance as their regular school homework and other subjects.  With the aid of tools such as an activity journal and wall chart for each child participating, families and schools are guided through every step of this programme and given ideas and inspiration through fun tasks and activities.

                                    A yummy strawberry.
Photo: Frances Muldoon

Commenting on the success of the SuperValu Nutri-Safaris, Lorraine Walsh, Head of Marketing at Laya healthcare says, “Empowering school children and their families to eat healthily is a core part of our Super Troopers programme, and the SuperValu Nutri-Safaris are such a creative and fun way to educate and inspire kids to think about food in new and healthy ways! The results to date are so encouraging, research carried out earlier this year revealed that after taking part in Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare, one in four families reported that they are eating more healthily and between one quarter and one third of children, parents and their families are more active. Our aim is to set new foundations for healthy habits and behaviours that will benefit future generations, and we’re proud to partner with SuperValu in achieving this.”

Checking out the cereals section.

Photo: Frances Muldoon

St Joseph’s National School and Scoil Mhuire Agus Iosaf are other primary schools who set out on safari in their local SuperValu in Sligo this month.  The SuperValu Nutri-Safaris are just one element of the heathy eating aspect of this campaign, which also includes recipes and nutritional top tips.

For more information on the SuperValu Nutri-Safaris, Super Troopers with Laya Healthcare programme or for free downloadable healthy recipes and tips visit www.supertroopers.ie or follow the #SuperTroopers conversation online at FacebookSuperValuIreland

                                      Having a fun time
. Photo: Frances Muldoon

                                 Tasty fruit and vegetables. Photo: Frances Muldoon