Holiday Fun & Kids Eat Free

Summer holidays are upon us and, for many families with children who get free school lunches, providing those extra meals can be a struggle.

After the sucess of last year's pilot, Food Portsmouth is working with PCC's six adventure playgrounds again to provide a free lunch on selected days.  Beans on toast and fruit will be prepared by the kids, playground staff and volunteers to make sure the kids continue to get a warm meal in a safe, active and sociable environment.

Last year we found some interesting, and sometimes shocking things. We found that for many children, lunch was the first meal of the day during the summer holidays; 45% of children asked stated that they hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning. However, 79% of children HAD eaten lunch the day before.

Eating breakfast is an important meal at any age. It helps to provide us with energy for the day ahead so we can concentrate, keep cravings in check, and have the energy to go about our daily tasks. To discover that almost half of children asked hadn’t had breakfast that morning is a concern, particularly if that is what happens during term time; impacting on learning.

We also found that 33% of children had not eaten any vegetables the previous day, but 39% had drunk a sugary soft drink that morning when asked. This highlights a worrying trend that children are not eating the fresh and nutritious diet they need to grow healthily, and instead consuming too much sugar in the form of soft drinks.

This year, not only will we continue to get a local perspective on summer holiday eating and activity trends, but the programme will also form part of Northumbria University's national research into child poverty. #summerholidays #schoolsout #communityeals #healthyeating