Good, healthy food can be tasty and fun – that was the message from a successful community project, Hearty Appetites.
The initiative, co-ordinated by Middlesbrough Environment City’s Healthy Cooking Team and funded through a Healthy Heart Grant from national heart charity Heart Research UK and the Subway® brand, aimed to promote heart health through nutritious food and regular exercise.
Throughout the project, parents and children enjoyed cooking and eating healthy meals including a healthy alternative to pizza, tasty breakfasts and one-pot family meals.
The children enjoyed fun-filled exercise sessions, with help from NUR Fitness, taking part in treasure hunts, picnics, guided walks, smoothie bike sessions, fun Zumba and outdoor family games.
They were joined by healthy eating mascot Arty to spread the message of promoting heart health through exercise.
To mark the achievements of the families involved, a celebration event was held at Newport Community Hub.
One parent who took part said: “I enjoyed the course and will be starting to make healthier meals from now on.”
MEC Healthy Cooking Coordinator Kim Baines said: “Healthy diets are more important than ever, but with the hectic pace of modern life it can be all too easy to lose sight of the basics.
“Hearty Appetites has been all about showing people that cooking and eating well doesn’t have to be a chore – it’s lots of fun, and will stand you and your family in good stead for the future.”
Councillor Mick Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “Good diet and an active lifestyle are essential to help us stay healthy and live longer.
“Projects like Hearty Appetites are invaluable in helping people to make the small changes that can make a big difference.
“Congratulations to everyone who took part – I know they will feel the benefits far into the future.”
Heart Research UK National Director, Barbara Harpham, said: One of the aims of our Healthy Heart Grants scheme is to help people of all ages to improve their heart health, and Middleborough Environment City Trust project aims to achieve that.
“It’s important for children and their parents to understand the importance of healthy lifestyles to help them live healthier, happier and longer lives.”