This report is a very brief summary of the work of the Public Health Dietitian. It gives an overview of 8 key programmes which have been delivered in East Berkshire between April 2002 and April 2003.
The Public Health Dietitian is funded by Dietetic’s money for three days a week to undertake healthy eating, health promotion work in East Berkshire. A post of this limited capacity cannot cover all areas of Health Promotion work associated with healthy eating, so priorities have been set. It is well accepted that eating patterns adopted at an early age tend to persist into adult life and Berkshire already has a strong network of consultants working in schools to improve the health of the pupils and staff. The role of the Public Health Dietitian has evolved to work closely with the Healthy Schools Programme ensuring that health promoting work in schools is co-ordinated and complimentary. By targeting children and young people, there will also be a degree of influence on the adult population via the teachers and the children’s parents. Programmes
1. Schools Nutrition Network
2. School Meals
3. Smiling for Life
4. Keep on Smiling
5. Food Awareness Week
6. Food Garden
7. Cook Projects
8. Water in Schools
For Further Information About Any Of The Programmes Please Contact:
Pip Collings, Public Health Dietitian, East Berkshire George Ward, St Mark’s Hospital, Maidenhead SL6 6DU Tel. 01753 63 8673 Email: Pip.Collings@berkshire.nhs.uk1.
Schools Nutrition Network Introduction In January 2003, the Schools Nutrition Network was established. This network was set up to provide a forum for health professionals and local authority workers to discuss their healthy eating work and plan future programmes.
The main aims are to: Help prevent duplication of efforts Provide opportunities to share resources and ideas Help ensure consistent messages are given to schools and Early Years Settings Promote existing projects in schools and Early Years Settings Provide opportunities for partnership working Help identify gaps Help match schools/ Early Years Settings and projects Ensure healthy eating work is targeted effectively Ensure priorities identified by local Action Plans are being met Provide an opportunity to see each other face to face, to encourage further communication when new projects/ideas ariseMembershipNHSLocal Authority Dietitians Health Promotion
Oral Health Promotion
Early Education and Childcare
Healthy Schools Consultants
School Meal Contract Managers
The network was launched with a seminar where each member group presented their work. There is a great deal of work going on in East Berkshire, but much of it is fragmented. This seminar was a good opportunity for the members to find out about other programmes, which could potentially link with their work. In the afternoon, workshops were held to map current work in schools and start to plan future work based on local Healthy Eating action plans.
School Meals The Public Health Dietitian Sits On The Menu Planning Groups With Local:
Authorities and catering contractors to develop the school lunch menus.Together we ensure that the menus meet government legislation in addition to the local contract specification which stipulates that the menus should conform to the Caroline Walker Trust recommendations for school meals.
We are trying to further improve the nutritional quality of the menus. A careful balance needs to be struck between getting healthy foods on the menu and giving children foods they like. The menu planning group are taking a pragmatic approach, making small changes to the menus every term to increase the number of ‘traditional’ dishes as opposed to the breaded, extruded meat/fish products currently prevalent. Menu improvement criteria have been drawn up to help with this process. MENU PLANNING CRITERIA
1. Must meet national standards
All menus in Local Authority contracts meet national standards
2. Must meet local specification – Caroline Walker
All menus in Local Authoruty contracts meet Caroline Walker Guidelines
3. Should Meet Menu Improvement Criteria
Bracknell out of 10 Slough out of 10 Autumn 2002
3.Smiling for Life
This is a national programme aimed at improving the oral and nutritional health of 0-5 year old children. Designed by the Health Education Authority, the programme is run locally by the ‘Smiling for Life Alliance’ Oral Health Promotion Advisers Public Health Dietitian, Berkshire Health Promotion Health Visitors Under 8s Co-ordinator, Social Services Healthy Schools Consultant.
Launched in East Berkshire in May 2000, the scheme is targeted at all Early Years Settings and Toddler Groups. The objectives of the programme are: To raise awareness of the importance of oral and nutritional health amongst the children and group leaders To encourage the adoption of written healthy snacks policies by the groups. To encourage mothers to give their children a cup to drink from by one years old.
The oral health promotion adviser who manages the Windsor and Maidenhead area (Karen Gonzalez) has a particular interest in child minders and has produced a pack to promote the campaign to this group. Any group with a written healthy snacks policy will be eligible for the Smiling for Life Nutrition Award. This provides a credit towards the Healthy Schools Award. For pre-schools who do not provide snacks, a separate Drinks Award has been created.
Healthy snacks and drinks are defined as:
Healthy drinks – Milk and water only
Healthy snacks – Sugar-free, low salt foods
This year we have focused on increasing man power for this programme and producing new, updated resources. We are now working closely with Local Authorities, and have produced new packs and posters. So far we have recruited 57 nurseries and pre-schools and presented 22 Gold Awards and 2 Drinks Awards. Bracknell Slough Windsor & MaidenheadRaised awareness
31,10,16 Gold Nutrition Award
13,2,7 Gold Drinks Award
4.Launch of Bottle to Cup initiative in Windsor
The 5th June 2001, saw the launch of the Keep on Smiling Programme, an extension of the Smiling for Life Programme set in Primary Schools. Launch of the Keep on Smiling Programme at William Penn Primary School, Slough. June 2001. Central to this programme is the ‘Snack Pack’ which provides information to help schools develop and implement healthy snacks policies.
The pack contains: Information about the Keep on Smiling Nutrition Award Model policies An example of a voting paper, which can be used by the children to choose their policy Examples of Healthy Snacks A leaflet for parents explaining about the initiative Examples of good practice from other schools Contacts from schools with policies in place Copies of the pack have been distributed to the Healthy School Consultants, Dietitians, Oral Health Promotion Advisers and School Nurses. So far we have had 73 orders for the Snack Pack .Bracknell Slough Windsor & MaidenheadNumber of orders 25,17,31.The Keep on Smiling Nutrition Award is also linked to the Healthy Schools Award.
5. Food Awareness Week
This campaign is designed to educate children about:The importance of eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day The concept of a balanced diet based on The Balance of Good Health.
Food Awareness Week is a national campaign designed by the British Dietetic Association. All Berkshire primary schools were targeted with the campaign which took place in June 2002. A resource pack was developed with local teachers to provide good, evidenced based, education material to help teachers deliver the key health messages of the campaign.To help redress inequalities, four schools were identified for intensive health promotion work, using dental screening records. Extra activities were organised for these schools including preparing healthy packed lunches and a play devised and performed by Wexham Secondary School. The play was based on the story of Hansel and Gretel and emphasised the importance of eating a balanced diet. Food Awareness Week was planned and delivered by the Public Health Dietitian in partnership with: Oral Health Promotion Dietitians Healthy Schools Programme Initial Catering Services Castle View Catering Services.
6. Food Garden
Funding was obtained from the Health Promotion Fund to create a food garden at St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Bracknell. The intention of the project was to involve children in growing fruit and vegetables to foster a positive attitude towards these foods and thereby increase intakes. In addition, practical sessions in the garden will increase the children’s physical activity. Community involvement and environmental awareness are also important elements of the project.
The findings from this pilot have helped the the SEEDS Trust (an environmental charity) to design a similar project in Slough. Funding has been obtained to establish food gardens in five Slough primary schools. Before the project October 2000 Year 4 dig their first early potatoes. Over 240 potatoes were harvested by the children. June 2001. Local chef from the Academy of Culinary Arts encourages children to taste different food. May 2002
The project was repeated this year with the help of two parents who ran a Gardening Club. As a result of this project, the school has been adopted by Academy of Culinary Arts. This scheme involves local chefs educating the children about food and taste. Recipe ideas were given for the produce from the food garden.
7. Cook Projects
The Public health Dietitian and local chef patron designed and delivered two cook projects as part of the Thames Valley University Summer Programme.The Advanced course was held at the Slough Estates offices. The students learned knife skills, butchery, fish filleting and about healthy eating.They prepared a number of dishes each day, culminating in a presentation meal for their families and special guests.Students from the Advanced Cook prepare healthy dishes under the guidance of local Chef – Steve Scuffell. The course took place in the Slough Estates kitchens. Slough Estates generously supplied all the food for the project. August 2002
Four of the students are interested in following a career in catering and work experience has been organised for them in top London restaurants.Chef, Steve Scuffell is the former chair of the Craft Guild of Chefs. The catering industry is currently suffering a recruitment crisis, and the Craft Guild are interested in working with young people to engender some enthusiasm for cooking. Thames Valley University run training courses for budding chefs. Students from the Advanced Cook course receive their certificates from the Mayor of Slough at the presentation dinner. August 2002
The Cook Projects were developed in response to extensive consultation by Thames Valley University into the requirements of the local teenage community in Slough. Practical cooking skills were found to be severely lacking, and yet there was an interest amongst members of this population in learning how to cook. There are currently very few cook courses in East Berkshire.The Basic course was held at Langleywood School in Langley. Evaluation shows that both courses helped to increase the student confidence in their ability to cook, and their knowledge of healthy eating. Presentation dinner at Langleywood school cooked by the students from the Basic Cook course. The food was sponsored by catering suppliers: Compass, Leathams and M & J Seafoods August 20028. Water in schools. This pilot project was run in Lynch Hill Primary School in Slough.
There are two strands to the intervention:
1. Access Thames Water assessed the quality of drinking water in the school and made recommendations on the positioning of the water dispensers.The children were provided with water bottles and mains fed drink sinks were installed in the dining room.
2. Resource development a focus group of 6 ‘water champions’ was formed to guide the resource development. Educational resources were developed with the children to raise awareness of importance of adequate hydration. These were used to educate staff, pupils and parents about the three key messages of the campaign.ResourcesPrinted resources Thames Water designed and printed leaflets, posters and a Teacher’s Handbook, under the guidance of the children.Video The children designed and produced a video to raise awareness of the campaign to fellow pupils, staff and parents.Road Show
An exhibition stand with the key messages and an outline of the projectwas designed by Thames Water graphics department to promote the campaign at a school open day. Health promoters were available on this day to talk to the parents about the project.