Safefood and the Clanrye Healthy Living Centre based at Slieve Gullion Courtyard have launched a new campaign to support young people and their families in the Newry, Mourne and South Armagh areas to improve their food shopping habits by transforming their shopping trolleys with healthy balanced meals.

The ‘Transform Your Trolley’ programme will see Healthy Living Centres across Northern Ireland in partnership with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance deliver a series of online workshops with the support from local health improvement teams in each Health & Social Care Trust area. 

Launching the Transform Your Trolly programme are from left:  Andrew Castles, safefood; Tony Doherty, Healthy Living Centre Alliance and Julie White, Healthy Living Centre Alliance.
Launching the Transform Your Trolly programme are, from right: Andrew Castles, safefood; Tony Doherty, Healthy Living Centre Alliance and Julie White, Healthy Living Centre Alliance.

Discussing their project as part of the ‘Transform Your Trolley’ campaign, Claire Convery at Clanrye Healthy Living Centre, said: “Our project will work with young people within the age range of 16-25 who are not in education, employment or training, and their families aimed at helping teach them the importance of meal planning and budgetingwhen doing the weekly shopping.

“It will help support the young people to make the right choices when it comes to food shopping, and help provide them with a greater awareness of their current diet and how small changes to their food buying habits can drastically improve their health.

“We will teach the participants how to plan a meal based on the principles of the eat well plate, how to create and stick to a budget when shopping, and the basic cookery skills to prepare and cook a healthy nutritious meal.”

The ‘Transform Your Trolley’ campaign is delivered in partnership with the Healthy Living Centre Alliance, an active network of community-led health improvement organisations based in rural and urban areas across Northern Ireland.

The interactive online programme will help participants make practical changes to their weekly food shop aimed at positively influencing their eating habits. The workshops will focus on areas such as creating a balanced shopping list, meal planning, how to eat well on a budget, how to cook basic nutritious meals, and making use of leftovers.

Recent research by the National Diet and Nutrition Survey data for Northern Ireland reveals that overall the population consumes too much saturated fat and added sugar, and not enough fruit, vegetables, oily fish or fibre, compared with current government recommendations.

Obesity continues to be a major health issue in Northern Ireland. Almost two-thirds of adults (62%) and over a quarter of children (27%) in Northern Ireland are reported as being overweight or obese.  

Launching the programme, Joana da Silva, Nutritionist at safefood said: “Shopping for healthy, foods on a limited budget can be a difficult task, but planning your weekly shop is key to eating healthily.

“Without a shopping strategy you might come home with more than you bargained for as safefood research has shown that supermarket promotions are frequently on food and drinks that are high in fat, sugar and salt, which only increases the temptation to purchases these foods.

“safefood is delighted to team up with the Healthy Living Alliance to help support local communities with our 12-step guide to meal planning and food shopping, to help families make small, practical changes needed for a healthier diet.”

Tony Doherty, Regional Coordinator at the Healthy Living Centre Alliance, said: “Safefood’s ‘Transform your Trolley’ campaign has the potential to positively influence the food shopping habits of local communities across Northern Ireland and to help raise awareness around healthy living and eating.

“These community-led projects will help increase knowledge around meal planning, teach healthier food shopping and enhance basic cooking skills that will help people make practical changes towards a healthier diet for the long-term.”

For more information on safefood’s ‘Transform Your Trolley’ programme visit: WWW.SAFEFOOD.NET

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