Andrew Jones MP helped PhunkyFoods celebrate 10 successful years at an event in the Houses of Parliament this week.
The PhunkyFoods Programme is a convenient, inspirational and fun way for teachers to deliver innovative healthy eating and physical activity lessons.
Across England, the PhunkyFoods team helps more than 1,500 schools and their teachers to:
- Meet healthy lifestyles curriculum requirements
- Support inspection frameworks
- Organise teaching to include more healthy lifestyles material
Early findings from independent research conducted by Leeds Beckett University (formerly Leeds Metropolitan) suggest that PhunkyFoods is improving knowledge and making differences to behaviour of children around eating a balanced diet.
- Funded by Nestlé UK, research findings of the pilot study revealed:
- Year 2 pupils (age 6-7) in schools delivering the programme had 2% higher physical activity knowledge scores than those in the control group
- Year 4 pupils (age 8-9) had 5% higher ‘healthy balance’ scores, based on knowledge of the Department of Health’s Eatwell plate messages
- Year 4 pupils from schools delivering PhunkyFoods say they consume more water and fruit, and less fizzy drinks
- Year 2 pupils say they consume fewer fizzy drinks, chocolates, sweets, biscuits and cakes after the receiving the PhunkyFoods Programme
Sorrell Fearnall, a Harrogate resident and managing director of Purely Nutrition which delivers the PhunkyFoods Programme, said:
Nearly one in 10 children are obese before they start school, and double that proportion are obese by the time they reach 11 years of age.
The reintroduction of food and cooking on the English national curriculum in 2014 goes some way to improving nutritional intake for young pupils, however there is so much more that they could and should be learning about in terms of food and health.
Our initial research findings demonstrate that by engaging with children and teaching them about healthy lifestyles through every aspect of the school, we can really make a difference to children’s attitudes and behaviours throughout their educational journey.
Through the PhunkyFoods Programme, with funding support from our public/private partnership with Nestlé UK and 2 Sisters Food Group, we are able to help schools engage children in healthy eating and physical activity in a way that really connects with them.
Andrew Jones MP said: I would encourage schools in my constituency to sign up to the PhunkyFoods Programme. We hear so much about obesity and poor diet that we can overlook the fantastic work that organisations like Phunkyfoods do.
They have demonstrated that it is possible to work with the food industry, parents and government to present food and healthy living in a way which is engaging to children.