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Children in primary schools are more likely to eat healthily compared to secondary school age pupils, according to new research by Aldi commissioned as part of the supermarket chain’s Get Set to Eat Fresh campaign with Team GB.

The Get Set to Eat Fresh programme, which has been shortlisted for the ‘Community Programme of the Year’ award at the forthcoming BT Sport Industry Awards 2018, is committed to improving the healthy eating habits of 1.2 million children by 2020. Aldi interviewed 1,000 children aged 7–14 in the UK to find out about their healthy eating habits, in a bid to understand how education can play a part in developing children’s understanding of the value of nutritious food.

The findings from the research revealed a drop-off in healthy eating habits between primary and secondary school aged children, with 72% of 7–8-year olds likely to eat fruit daily and only 59% of 13–14-year olds likely to eat fruit daily.

Overall, the research discovered that children expressed a strong interest in wanting to improve their healthy eating habits. Despite 50% of the children interviewed admitting that they ate fast food or takeaways at least once a week, 41% want to eat healthily more often and almost half (45%) said the most effective way to teach children about eating healthily was through lessons in school and talking to teachers.

To help improve healthy eating habits and launch the next phase of Get Set to Eat Fresh, Aldi and Team GB are launching a ‘Design a bag’ competition across England, Scotland and Wales. The competition challenges young people aged 5–14 to get creative and design a re-usable ‘Bag for Life’ that will inspire others to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

Oliver King, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi, said:

“The Get Set to Eat Fresh programme is committed to arming teachers with the resources they need to teach children about eating, and cooking with, fresh, healthy food.

“Aldi continually look at ways to improve the existing resources we offer, and speaking to children directly to find out more about their eating habits, and what they need and want to improve, is a key part of our commitment to the programme. We’re encouraged that young people want to make better food choices, and we’re constantly thinking of new ways to get children engaged in healthy eating.”

The competition will be judged by Team GB’s favourite brothers, Alistair Brownlee and Jonny Brownlee.

Commenting on the competition, Alistair Brownlee said:

“The Get Set to Eat Fresh programme is going from strength to strength. The ‘Design a bag’ competition is another great way to get young people thinking about how to eat a healthier diet. We can’t wait to see what they come up with!”

Jonny Brownlee added:

“Educating children on the importance of fuelling their bodies with the right foods is something both Alistair and I are passionate about. 

“The resources offered as part of the Get Set to Eat Fresh campaign can help teachers bring this important topic to life in fun, engaging ways, and the competition will only help highlight the importance of nutrition. We encourage children all over the country to take part in this brilliant competition and get talking about healthy eating with their classmates!”

Winners of the competition will see their bags in Aldi stores nationwide and receive £50 of vouchers to spend in store. Plus, the whole school will receive a special visit from a Team GB athlete and £200 of Aldi vouchers to stock up on kitchen equipment and fresh fruit and veg. As well as this, each week competition entries will be entered into a weekly prize draw to be in with a chance of winning £50 worth of Aldi vouchers to buy fresh ingredients or cooking equipment for the winner’s school.

The competition launches on Thursday 8 February, the day before the official start of PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, which sees British hopefuls and Aldi ambassadors James Woods (Skiing), Katie Ormerod (Snowboarding), Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton racer) and Team Muirhead, the Scottish Ladies Curling Team, compete against athletes from across the world. The competition, open to students aged 5–14 in England, Wales and Scotland, closes on Friday 4 May with the winner being selected on Monday 11 June.

For more information about Aldi’s partnership with Team GB visit www.aldi.co.uk  and for more information about the ‘Design a bag’ competition, including T&Cs, please visit: www.getseteatfresh.co.uk/designabag

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