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Chartwells ‘Fuelling Young Minds’ report highlights need for food education

1st Feb 2024 - 07:00
‘Fuelling Young Minds’ report
Education catering company Chartwells has launched a new report titled ‘Fuelling Young Minds’, which highlights the importance of providing food education within schools to equip younger generations with vital information to make informed decisions about food.

Data from the National Child Measurement Programme shows more than one in five children (22.3%) in England aged four to five years-old and more than one in three (37.8%) aged ten to 11 years-old are overweight or obese.

Chartwells is launching a new digital ‘Spotlight Session’ offering. Delivered to primary schools as part of their Beyond The Chartwells Kitchen programme, the new digital workshops aim to reach as many pupils across its partner schools as possible, furthering their knowledge in a ‘fun and exciting way’.

All ‘Spotlight Sessions’ aim to provide schools with the resources they need to create compelling and educational workshops that link back to the school curriculum. The first lesson in the new digital series shines a spotlight on where our food comes from and why bumblebees play such an important role in our food system.

Charles Brown, managing director of Chartwells, said: "We know there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure young people are educated and feel empowered to make the right decisions when it comes to nutrition, food choices and sustainability. Schools play a huge role in providing young people with the knowledge they need to make these decisions.

“This is why at Chartwells we are committed to supporting and collaborating with schools across the UK to create engaging tools and digital content that will help educate their pupils. We’re also continuing to look for ways to reach more children through new and innovative platforms so that we fuel the appetite of future generations with the information they need to live a healthy life.”

Key findings from the report:

  • 82% of pupils expressed interest in eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • 38% of all state school pupils eat their five portions of fruit and veg every day, whereas across all independent schools this jumps up to 68%
  • 64% of state primary schoolchildren say they want to help cook meals at home but this falls to 54% at secondary schools
  • Only 25% pupils surveyed trust the information that they find online about nutrition – even fewer (7%) check what they find online with an expert
  • 61% of pupils are concerned about food waste and its impact on the environment

Chartwells is committed to supporting schools and teachers, providing them with the tools they need to educate young people in engaging and innovative ways, as well as equipping young people with the education needed to make positive choices when it comes to food, nutrition and sustainability.

Olivia Pratt, head of nutrition and sustainability at Chartwells, added: “Just as children are taught how to read and write, we’re passionate about teaching them to eat well – not only for their health but for the planet they’re going to inherit too.

“By bringing food and nutrition education to life through interactive workshops or experiences, such as those we run through our Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen programme, we can help set children up with the tools and knowledge they need to make positive choices around food, nutrition, wellbeing and sustainability.

“We are committed to ensuring young people really love food and become passionate about what they can do to protect their physical health, their mental health, and their planet."

Written by
Edward Waddell