Canaries set to help local children eat more healthily
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Story added: 1st March 2022

Pupils to enjoy dishes inspired by City players as part of Active Canaries Health Month

We’ve teamed up with Norse Catering to support the health of local primary school pupils through the newly launched Active Canaries Health Month.

On four Thursdays in March, pupils from participating schools will enjoy dishes designed by Norwich City’s first team chef Dan Savage, taking inspiration from the national cuisines of City players Teemu Pukki, Josh Sargent, Dimitris Giannoulis, and Tim Krul.

The healthy menus include Pukki’s Finnish Fish Pie Pasta Bake and Giannoulis’s Greek Chicken Flatbread; City’s first team nutritionist Tom Geeson-Brown has compiled the basic nutritional information for each to help with learning, and children will receive recipe cards to take home to help them recreate the meals with their families.

In addition to the weekly meals, we will deliver online wellbeing workshops to classes on Wednesday mornings, focused on sleep, nutrition, physical activity and giving.

The Active Canaries programme is backed by the Canaries Covid-19 Community Fund, which was created in 2020 by donations from first team players, senior staff, and directors to support the community response and recovery to the pandemic.

As part of the programme, the Community Sports Foundation have already delivered focussed sessions to pupils at five local schools to help pupils in need of support with their wellbeing, including nutrition, activity levels, or social skills and confidence.

Norse Catering provides nutritional meals to almost 200 schools in Norfolk and Suffolk, with more than 75% of the ingredients coming from local suppliers.

A menu development team plans each meal carefully to ensure it is healthy and balanced and adheres to food standards.

To date, over 70 of the schools Norse caters for have signed up to take part in Active Canaries Health Month.

This will see approximately 8,000 children from these schools sit down to the special dinners across the programme’s four-week duration.

Norwich City’s Business and Project Director Zoe Ward said:

“We know how important eating healthily, being active and getting enough sleep is for children, and how it can impact on their ability to learn and develop. We’re aiming to use the knowledge and tools we have at the club to help children better understand these important foundations to their well-being.”

“Busy lifestyles, and challenges such as the rising cost of living, can make it hard for families to produce healthy meals they can enjoy at home.

“We are aiming to help children get excited about eating healthily while making it as easy as possible for families to replicate the food eaten by our first team players.”

Stevie Bramble, Head of Curriculum for the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation said:

“Through our work with local schools we know the level of impact we can have using the power of football and Norwich City to inspire young people. We are determined to use this to improve awareness of healthy lifestyles, nutrition and wellbeing amongst pupils, schools and caterers.”

Dan Savage, chef for Norwich City’s first team said:

“We had great fun putting these dishes together with the players; Tom and I are delighted to play a role in helping to improving the health and wellbeing of local pupils.

“We were very impressed with the healthy school meals that Norse Catering serves every day.

“The dishes we designed also balance all the important areas of nutrition and we hope that our involvement will further highlight to the children what they need to eat to be healthy.”

Andrew Lipscomb, Operations Director at Norse Catering, said:

“We are very excited to be working with Norwich City Football Club and its Premier League players.

“Our emphasis is always on serving nutritious meals, but this highlights the importance of healthy eating to the children in a way they can really relate to.

“These footballers are their heroes; if the children have more of an understanding of the kinds of dishes they eat in order to retain their peak fitness levels, then it will help them to realise that food can be fun, as well as healthy.”

Primary Schools can find out more about Active Canaries Health Month by contacting the Community Sports Foundation’s Schools team by email – [email protected]

"“We know how important eating healthily, being active and getting enough sleep is for children, and how it can impact on their ability to learn and develop. We’re aiming to use the knowledge and tools we have at the club to help children better understand these important foundations to their well-being.”"

Zoe Ward

Business & Project Director, Norwich City Football Club

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