New CD Rom appeals to children’s appetites

21 November, 2008. Earlier today, safefood and West Cork LEADER Co-operative launched Taste Buds, a new interactive education resource for eight to ten year olds. This teacher-led CD resource, launched by Minister Batt O’Keeffe, T.D. Minister of Education & Science, will teach children about the origins of their food and the importance of healthy eating and physical activity using five, fun animated characters.

With research revealing that 11% of children aged 5 to 12 years of age are overweight and 11% are obese, the launch of Taste Buds is an exciting development in providing children with knowledge that will serve them throughout their lives.

Speaking at the launch of Taste Buds, Minister Batt O'Keeffe, TD, Minister for Education and Science said that “there is increasing public awareness about obesity among Irish children and adults, and I am conscious of the value of a programme that will create greater knowledge, understanding and action with regard to healthy eating habits among our primary school children. We cannot underestimate the importance of developing healthy lifestyles among our young people to ensure their physical and psychological well-being both now and in the future.”

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition, safefood, commented, “With obesity among children at epidemic levels, the long-term health consequences are significant and the challenges that face us are great. Many children in our society think that food is something which comes in a packet and we know that over 60% of parents feel it is a struggle to encourage their children to eat healthy foods – this fun resource will help schools and parents address this by giving children practical examples of what healthy eating and activity can do for them as well as explaining the origins of our food.”

Speaking at the launch of Taste Buds, Ian Dempsey, Chief Executive Officer, West Cork LEADER Co-operative commented “Taste Buds was designed to support the Social Personal Health Education (SPHE) curriculum in Primary Schools. The combination of learning about healthy eating and food production will enable children to make healthier food choices. Taste Buds also brings fun into the learning experience through the use of animated, cartoon characters. Each of the Taste Buds characters has different personalities that children can identify with and conveys a different message about healthy eating and the importance of physical activity through cartoons.”

Mr. Aiden O’Brien, Principal of Scoil Náisiunta an Chroí Naofa that piloted the resource said, “Our children really enjoyed using the Taste Buds programme. At times, it can be a challenge to teach children about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity, but this resource brought the message to life for them in an exciting, interactive and accessible way.”

The Taste Buds resource consists of 8 different class sections, each one taking between 30 to 40 minutes to complete, with interactive sections and activity suggestions. Session topics include ‘Finding Out About Food’, ‘Who Produces Our Food’, ‘Boosting Breakfast’ and ‘The Big Match’. Teachers’ notes have also been developed to accompany the resource and include ideas for classroom discussions, along with games and quiz suggestions.

Teachers can obtain a free copy of the resource for their school by calling the safefood helpline on 1850 40 45 67. The resource will also be made available online in due course at www.safefood.eu

Details of the resource will be sent to all primary schools in the Republic of Ireland in the coming weeks.

Ends

For further information please contact

Kate Fitzgerald/Susie Cunningham

WHPR

0035316690030
00353 868505055 (Susie)

Dermot Moriarty

safefood

0035314480600
00353863811034

References

  1. 1) IUNA 2005
  2. 2) safefood & HSE in collaboration with HPA, NI; Millward Brown IMS 2008