8th November 2007
RUGBY MUMS SCORE CONVERSION TO HEALTHY EATING
A youth rugby club in Midlothian has picked up a major national award for making it easy for its young members to eat healthier food.
Currie Rugby Football Club Minis section is a rugby club for children up to Primary 7. When three of the mums, Kim Haggart, Sheelagh Jones & Lesley Dunleavy, took over the post-match catering they wanted to transform the provision that was on offer to the members, parents and visiting teams. And they decided to apply for the healthyliving award after hearing about it from one of the club coaches.
Mum Kim Haggart explained, "The club used to provide very traditional rugby club food such as sausage rolls and pies. When the three of us took over the catering we wanted to change the children?s eating habits, so we now offer filled rolls and salad, fruit pots and, in the colder weather, homemade soup and pasta Bolognese. Now the kids have got used to it they love it."
Currie RFC is the first rugby club, and in fact the first sports club of any kind, to have achieved the prestigious healthyliving award. It is among a total of over 150 establishments from throughout Scotland that have achieved the award since it was launched by the Scottish Consumer Council last year.
The award aims to make it easier for people to choose healthy options when they eat out and is aimed at a wide range of food outlets, from high street cafes and restaurants to workplace canteens and family leisure facilities.
Currie RFC achieved the award after adopting a range of healthier practices, including reducing levels of fat, salt and sugar in food and making fruit and vegetables more easily available.
Kim explained, ?to achieve the healthyliving award we followed the advice in the guidance pack we received and adapted our cooking methods to suit the requirements for the award.?
?The new menu took a bit of getting used to by the kids ? the first couple of times they wanted sausage rolls, but now they love it, especially the fruit. We cut up fruits that can be prepared in advance such as melon and kiwis, and make up fruit pots. The kids now accept it as the norm, and it has gone down very well with the parents too. The visiting teams are also impressed and enjoy the food as well.?
?We have 160 children in the minis section, and on match days we can be catering for up to 350 children.?
?We are delighted to have achieved the healthyliving award and to get recognition for all our hard work, and that of all the many other ?Mums? who have helped, over the last year,??? she added. ?We are very proud of our achievement, and the fact that the kids enjoy the healthier food has made it all worthwhile.?
?Because we are not a profit making organisation, we have been looking for a sponsor to help us with our healthy eating initiative, but so far have been unsuccessful. If anyone would like more info on this, or can help, then please contact us?
The national healthyliving award has been an unprecedented success, with more than 650 public and private sector food outlets across Scotland already signed up.
The award is open to most food serving outlets in Scotland and uses the recognisable apple symbol within the logo, which is displayed on menus and in the premises of food outlets to allow people to see at a glance what healthy options are available.
Claire Brown, Project Manager of the healthyliving award, said: ?We are delighted with the response we have received from establishments keen to get behind this award.?
?Our recent award winners demonstrate the wide appeal of this accreditation, ranging from family-run caf?s and restaurants to large retailers like Tesco and John Lewis. We are particularly pleased to see a number of outlets that cater for children achieving the award, especially those like Currie RFC that have turned their back on the stereotypical children's menu and are doing something much more innovative.?
?Consumer demand for healthier options has grown in recent years and caterers and food outlets across Scotland have risen to the challenge.?
?The award is good news for the food outlets themselves, who have had fantastic feedback from customers and increased sales and for consumers, who will now find it easier to pick up something healthy when they eat out.?
To qualify for the award, caterers need to meet a set of key criteria, which includes a commitment to providing and supporting healthier eating, as demonstrated on the menu selection, the way they prepare food, marketing and promotional activities and the way in which food is presented and sold.
At least half of the food they serve needs to be a healthyliving choice, prepared using both healthier ingredients and healthier cooking methods, and healthy and nutritious food is required to be available for children in places where they are served.
For further information on how to apply for the healthyliving award, please contact 0141 226 5261 or visit www.healthylivingaward.co.uk
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Issued by the healthyliving award at the Scottish Consumer Council
For further information on the healthyliving award please contact Barbara McDougall or Moira Stalker on 0141 226 5261.
Notes to Editors
1. To qualify for the healthyliving award, caterers need to meet a set of key criteria, which includes a commitment to providing and supporting healthier eating, as demonstrated on the menu selection, the way they prepare food, marketing and promotional activities and the way in which food is presented and sold.
2. The Scottish Consumer Council was set up by the government in 1975 to promote the interests of consumers, particularly those who experience disadvantage in society. While producers and suppliers of goods and services are usually well organised when protecting their own interests, individual consumers very often are not. The people we represent are consumers of all kinds: they may be council tenants, patients, parents, solicitors? clients, public transport users, or simply shoppers in a supermarket. We speak up for them by communicating with the professions, industry, business, local authorities and central government, using careful research and persuasive lobbying.