Research has shown that children, particularly in urban settings, often have little knowledge of where their food comes from and current diet quality among children is suboptimal. Project DAIRE aims to improve knowledge of the food supply chain and dietary choices among primary school children, specifically working with children in primary 3 and 7 in primary schools in the Derry/Londonderry region.
Your school has been allocated at random to receive the ‘NOURISH’ intervention. In the development of the NOURISH intervention, the research team at Queen’s University met with primary school senior management and catering staff to obtain a better understanding of canteen procurement and to identify the most appropriate ways of altering the school food environment. This information was used to define the intervention, which is designed so that no costs will be incurred by the school and a minimal impact on school or catering staff time.
NOURISH aims to alter the food offered in the school environment. NOURISH is supported by 14 local food industry partners from the Northern Ireland Agri-Food Sector who have agreed to provide food and materials to enable NOURISH delivery in schools.
The NOURISH intervention consists of five key components that we would like all NOURISH schools to implement:
1. Implementation of optimal school food policies
2. Healthy snack provision
3. Themed food days
4. Enhancing the dining experience
5. Enhancing the presentation of foods
In addition to the core NOURISH components which we would like all schools to implement, there are additional components that schools can implement if they wish to do so. These include:
1. Cookery activities
2. Sensory education
3. Food provision for school event
4. Chef demonstration within school/at school event
5. Visit to local higher education institutions with a food focus for hands-on food preparation and tasting days