Sowing the seeds for a healthy lifestyle

Gary Jefferies

THE idea for young children to start sowing and growing their own vegetables is the brainchild of healthy drinks firm Innocent Smoothies. 

The company has donated thousands of packets of seeds to nurseries and pre-schools all over the country in a bid to help educate children about the benefits of healthy eating and the provenance of certain foods. 

The aim is for children to realise that vegetables such as carrots and peas don’t come from the freezer, and that in order to make chips you’ll need to start with a bag of potatoes. 

St George’s Community Children’s Project in Tunbridge Wells is one of the educational establishments who have embraced the idea, and got their little ones busy out in the great outdoors in order to sow and grow.

“So far, we have planted carrots, cress and beans in the on-site allotments, and are learning to tend to them until they’re ready to harvest,” explains St George’s Fundraising and Development Manager Ellie Stewart.

“Each age group has their own allotment where they’ve been growing vegetables, which they’ll help to turn into tasty meals. By growing and cooking vegetables themselves, children are much more likely to enjoy eating them and develop heal-thy habits for the rest of their lives.”

It was Finance Manager Geraldine Walsh who spotted the campaign online and duly organised the seed donations for the children aged three months to 12 years who attend the Ofsted Outstanding nursery.

“I think it’s a brilliant campaign that’s encouraging healthy eating for children across the UK,” she says. “We’ve been donated the seeds for two years in a row now, and our children have really benefited.”


Students weave their way on to the big screen

STARS IN THEIR EYES Skippers Hill pupils meet the pop group Steps

Pupils from Skippers Hill Manor Preparatory School in Five Ashes recently made an appearance on ITV’s This Morning, showcasing their talents at maypole dancing.

The troupe of girls from the school’s Maypole Dancing Group, aged 8 to 13, performed live as part of the programme’s St George’s Day activities, and also enjoyed a look behind the scenes at the TV studios in London’s South Bank. The girls were thrilled to be invited into the studio to meet pop group Steps and to dance along to their new single.

Headmaster Mark Hammond said: “Maypole dancing has long been a tradition at Skippers, and  in Mayfield and Five Ashes. It was a pleasure to see each individual perform so well under the pressure of live TV, especially as they hadn’t yet started rehearsals for this year’s May fair! We’re very proud they represented the local community so well, and were able to meet some pop stars to boot!”

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