26 April, 2016: Over 4,000 secondary students and teachers attended the inaugural HealthFest event in Citywest, Dublin. Organised by the National Dairy Council and safefood, the event is the first of its kind for transition year students – a full day seminar designed to educate them about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity in a practical, engaging and fun environment.
Interactive sessions with experts including leading fitness expert Karl Henry; Paula Mee, a leading Irish independent dietitian; Caroline O’Donovan, a registered nutritionist working with the NDC; Nóra Ní Fhlannagáin, Performance Nutritionist for Age-Grade Rugby with the IRFU and nutrition advisor to a number of sports teams and squads; and Brendan Courtney, broadcaster, designer and entrepreneur. Multi medal winner & Olympian Derval O’Rourke was also on hand on the day to provide TY students with inspiration on how to maintain a focus on healthy eating and exercise during this busy life-stage.
The Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI) joined NDC nutritionist Caroline O’Donovan at HealthFest 2016 to launch a new ‘Nutrition & You’ booklet written specifically for teenagers. Produced by the National Dairy Council (NDC) the free booklet covers clever eating choices, smart snacking, dietary guidelines, tackles frequent myths and includes exercise tips for teenagers. The free NDC & INDI booklet is available to download here.
Safefood presented their sugary drinks exhibition; where students were challenged to guess the sugar content of some popular drinks. There were a few surprises as safefood’s label survey found that many fruit drinks contain as much sugar as ‘fizzy drinks’. For example, a 200ml serving of a popular[i] juice drink contained as much sugar as the equivalent serving of well-known fizzy soft drinks[ii].
Celebrity TV chef Brian McDermott ran cookery demonstrations showing students how to easily prepare healthy versatile snacks and lunches to keep teenagers fuelled for the long day at school. Activities during the day ranged from fun exercises such as how to milk a cow, to interactive Zumba dance sessions, musical chairs and fitness grip tests.
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