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Ruane welcomes progress on ‘catering for healthier lifestyles’ in schools

21 November, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, today praised the hard work of school staff in promoting healthy eating amongst their pupils.

The Minister was responding to the publication of a report by the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) which examined the approaches being taken to promoting healthy eating in schools.

The report highlights the positive progress being made by schools and the Education and Library Boards to implement healthy eating policies and programmes.

Speaking at a visit to Belmont Primary School she said: "Schools play a large part in encouraging children to adopt a healthy eating lifestyle, it is vital if we want our children to lead happy healthy lives that we encourage good habits from the start.

"I want to congratulate catering staff across our schools for all their hard work in providing new and exciting meals and choices for pupils. I would also like to applaud all the staff at Belmont Primary School, who have demonstrated that healthy options do not have to stop at lunch-time through their healthy eating after school club, health promotion assemblies and parent information evenings.

"The ETI report has highlighted the good work that is being carried out across our schools and it is essential that we continue to act in order to reverse childhood obesity trends and improve the health of our young people." ENDS


  • The Department of Education document, Catering for Healthier Lifestyles was issued in December 2001 and sets out the compulsory food-based nutritional standards for school meals.

  • In December 2006 the ETI appointed two Nutritional Associates to monitor and promote improvement in the implementation of the Catering for Healthier Lifestyles programme and the approaches schools and employing authorities are taking to the promotion of healthy eating.

  • Belmont Primary School is situated on the Belmont Road in East Belfast. The School caters for children in years 1-3.

  • Belmont have been praised as a good practice school. It has appropriate policies and programmes in place to encourage healthier lifestyles in particular through healthy breaks, water provision and a healthy eating after school club. Other promotions include a healthy living road show which visits each class and is facilitated by the health education co-ordinator and primary three children.

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