UK schools and workplaces prioritise health as BNF Healthy Eating Week registrations exceed 5,000

Over 5,000 registrations for the British Nutrition Foundation’s (BNF) Healthy Eating Week 2020 (28 September – 4 October) have already been received; with 4,019 schools and nurseries, and 1,086 workplaces (or workplace teams), colleges and universities, set to take part in a range of health-related challenges and activities.

Now in its eighth year, BNF Healthy Eating Week aims to promote healthy habits, increasing knowledge of healthy eating and wellbeing, the benefits of physical activity and cooking. This year, due to the impact of the pandemic, the event will be held in late September. The health of the nation is in the spotlight due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all the challenges we faced in keeping healthy during lockdown. In a survey of adults conducted by BNF earlier this year, when asked about their priorities for health and wellbeing as the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, 47 percent said they want to become more active and exercise more, 43 percent said they want to lose weight and 29 percent said they want to eat more healthily. So, the focus on healthy eating and lifestyle is particularly relevant and the event is anticipated to attract even more children, teenagers and adults to get involved to consider, reflect and improve their health and wellbeing

BNF Healthy Eating Week will comprise seven daily health challenges, which people are encouraged to take part in at school, in the workplace, or at home. To help schools and workplaces plan activities for the Week, BNF will be providing a suite of resources, including information sheets, activity ideas, videos, online cooking sessions, webinars, posters and a certificate. The health challenges are:

  • Eat more wholegrains (Monday)
  • Vary your veg (Tuesday)
  • Drink plenty (Wednesday)
  • Move more (Thursday)
  • Be mind kind (Friday)
  • Get active together (Saturday)
  • Eat together (Sunday

New for 2020, the Get active together and Eat together challenges highlight the importance and benefits of undertaking activities together with friends or family, however, social distancing rules will need to be applied depending on personal and local circumstances. Be mind kind, another new challenge for 2020, showcases that mental health is a vital aspect of overall health and wellbeing, and highlights that what we eat and drink, being active, and ensuring we get enough sleep, can all have positive benefits for mental health.

Roy Ballam, Managing Director and Head of Education at the BNF said: “It’s been a turbulent year for everyone; but the importance of looking after our health – including having a good diet, getting active and focussing on wellbeing – has never been more pertinent. While lockdown disrupted all of our daily activities – some for better and some for worse – BNF Healthy Eating Week gives us all a chance to refocus and prioritise some of the most important areas of our health. We’re excited to launch new challenges this year, alongside some old favourites. Our new weekend challenges ‘Eat together’ and ‘Get active together’ highlight that eating and getting active together, in line with current Government guidelines on COVID-19, not only helps with keeping motivated, but also supports the development of important social skills, and adds enjoyment too!”

“As always, the Week is open to all UK nurseries, schools, universities and workplaces, and registration is free. We hope registrants will be able to take part in the challenges in their schools and workplaces, however everything has been designed so that, if required, the activities can be completed at home and virtually too.”

Schools, nurseries, colleges, universities and workplaces can access more information and register for BNF Healthy Eating Week 2020 here: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/hew/bnfhew20.html

All those that register before the 4 September at 5pm will receive a free set of seven A2 colour posters.