A pioneering Croydon scheme has been chosen by the Government to help the nation fight obesity and learn more about healthy eating and growing their own food.
The work taking place with the borough’s schools, residents and businesses as part of Croydon’s Food Flagship programme funded by the council, Mayor of London and Department for Education, has been included on a new government website highlighting what is being done around the country to improve children’s nutrition, health and wellbeing.
Last year, the Government announced its plan to significantly reduce childhood obesity over the next 10 years. The plan sets out their actions going forward to reduce obesity by working with local communities, the food industry, schools and the NHS.
Croydon Council’s Food Flagship programme has been changing the food culture in the borough. This has led to improvements in schools with breakfast club menus offering more healthy food options and an increasing number of pupils eating school meals. There are also new cooking classes to teach children about healthy eating and training for staff.
Edible Playgrounds have been created in some Croydon schools, offering vibrant outdoor spaces to educate, engage and inspire children about growing fruit and vegetables.
The Food Flagship work has also involved promoting healthy food at a series of events. This included the borough’s first schools’ food market, where pupils ran stalls selling fruit, vegetables, herbs, jams and chutneys they had grown or made at their school.
Local food entrepreneurs have also benefitted from the Flagship’s support to help them to grow their healthy food businesses.
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care
“We are delighted to have been given this opportunity to share with others how the council’s Food Flagship programme is supporting local families to improve their diets. This is great recognition of the partnership work happening right across the borough which is helping residents to eat more nutritious meals and to cut back on food and drinks with high fat, salt and sugar content. Our focus is to make good food the easy choice as a route to improving the health and wellbeing of those living and working here.”
The Department of Health’s new childhood obesity gateway website is available at https://engage.dh.gov.uk/childhoodobesity/
You can read the Government’s childhood obesity action plan at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childhood-obesity-a-plan-for-action