WALES, UK - New research shows that almost a quarter (24 per cent) of Welsh primary school children cannot name a single species of fish that people can eat.
The research, carried out by industry body Seafish, shows Welsh children aged five to 11 years have the lowest awareness of what kind of fish is edible compared to children in England and Scotland.
To help improve awareness of fish as food, a new education resource pack that supports primary school teachers to deliver healthy eating lessons has been made available to every primary school in Wales. The new cross-curricular resource, for children aged five to seven years, supports cooking and tasting activities and looks at different species of fish as part of a healthy balanced diet.
The pack has been developed by Fish is the Dish, the consumer and education face of industry body Seafish, to help children in Wales develop a good knowledge and understanding of the variety of seafood available to them and the health benefits of eating fish twice a week. Fish is the Dish worked with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) to develop the comprehensive materials to allow the teaching of fish as food.
Mrs Susan Hanbrey, head teacher at Ysgol Rhoscolyn primary school in Holyhead which helped launch the pack today, said: “The research tells us that there is still work to do when it comes to teaching children about health and nutrition and the importance of eating fish. The great thing about a pack like this is it that it gives teachers everything they need to educate children, as well as being a fun and practical way to gain valuable life lessons. It is essential that we help children to grow up with an understanding of nutrition and the importance of eating a healthy, balanced diet.”
The pack contains a teachers’ guide including curriculum links and six lesson plans, workbooks, stickers and posters for children to use at school and home. It is supported by online resources, including easy to assemble recipes, peer to peer learning via cooking videos, cross-curricular worksheets, presentations and interactive whiteboard activities.
The packs will be distributed to all schools from tomorrow (25 March) and all teaching materials are also available online with no copyright restrictions. Materials are written in both English and Welsh languages.
Roy Ballam, Education Programme Manager at the British Nutrition Foundation said: “It’s important that children understand that there are different types of fish that they can prepare, cook and eat, and that it is part of a healthy varied diet. School resources that help teachers deliver these important messages are welcome.”
Jo Dunlop, Marketing Manager at Seafish, said: “The BNF have their finger on the pulse when it comes to education and they have helped us to develop a fantastic set of interactive materials for children. The Teachers’ Guide is one of the best I’ve come across. Fish is full of healthy vitamins and minerals that are vital to the development of healthy, happy children. We want to help children develop a positive attitude to eating fish so that it becomes the norm for them as they grow.”
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