Eat Like A Champ is a healthy eating education programme for 9 and 10 year olds (Year 5 / Primary 6 / P6 pupils) run by teachers in their primary schools. The programme has been developed by Danone in collaboration with the British Nutrition Foundation, the British Dietetic Association and Hubbub. Independent evaluations in 2012, 2016 and 2018 demonstrated that children who took part in Eat Like A Champ shifted their behaviours towards healthier eating habits.
In 2020, the Eat Like A Champ programme was updated to explore aspects of sustainability, with the purpose of helping children understand what they can do to help look after the planet in terms of food choices, recycling and reducing food waste.
To make the six Eat Like A Champ lessons as fun and engaging as possible – your involvement is key! You can visit this website each week to find out what your child has been learning and keep an eye out for our family tips, activities and recipes.
At the start of the Eat Like A Champ programme your child will receive a homework passport, containing six tasks for them to complete.
We all have a part to play in helping educate children about how to keep themselves healthy. The Eat Like A Champ programme seeks to contribute to this positive movement by providing practical resources for parents, children and teachers.
Click on the six topics below for an overview of what your child is going to be learning. You will also find our family tips, activities and recipes to help keep the whole family healthy.
Eating well and sustainably
Your child has been learning about the Eatwell Guide, which is the UK healthy eating model. Having a healthy, varied diet is important because no one food or food group contains everything that we need for good health. Eating a varied diet also helps the planet because it means we are eating food produced and distributed in different ways. As a result, we are helping to ease the pressure on global food systems.
The food groups on the Eatwell Guide are:
- Fruit and vegetables
- Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates
- Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins
- Dairy and alternatives
- Oils and spreads
Foods high in fat, salt and sugars are also shown on the Eatwell Guide, outside of the main image. These foods are not required as part of a healthy, balanced diet. If included, they should only be eaten occasionally and in small amounts.
The Eatwell Guide also shows the proportions of food we need from each food group – over a day or two.
Your child should bring home their homework passport from school, which contains all their Eat Like A Champ tasks. Your child’s homework this week is to design a healthy day’s menu for themselves or a friend, you could review the menu against a checklist based on the Eatwell Guide and suggest changes that could make the menu healthier.
Following the Eatwell Guide helps us to look after the planet!
It is reported* that a diet in line with the Eatwell Guide, would have a 32% lower environmental impact (in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, water and land use) than the current average UK diet.
* Carbon Trust (2016). The Eatwell Guide: a More Sustainable Diet. Available at: https://www.carbontrust.com/media/672635/phe-sustainable-diets.pdf
In this lesson your child will be learning about the following nutrients:
- Calcium (a mineral)
- Vitamin C (a vitamin)
They will be exploring which food and drinks contain these nutrients, and why our bodies need them. Different foods provide different types and amounts of nutrients. No one food can provide all the nutrients we need to stay healthy, which is why we need to eat a variety of different foods.
For their homework task this week, your child will be designing and drawing two meals (with drinks!) and labelling them to show each of the nutrients they contain.
Often a lot of the fibre in fruit and veg is in the skin, so leave the peeler in the drawer when you can.
Hydration and recycling
This week’s lesson focuses on the importance of hydration and considers how different drinks are packaged.
Our bodies are 60% water, so keeping drinking plenty is essential. We should aim to have 6-8 drinks a day, and more if the weather is warm or if we are active. Your child will also be looking at healthier drink options and the advantages and disadvantages of different drinks containers.
Your child will be asked to design a poster to engage the wider school in the importance of hydration and the ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ messaging when thinking about drinks containers. There is a space in their homework passport for them to practice before creating their poster on plain A4 paper.
Children learn their drinking habits when they are young, so encourage them to drink regularly, especially when they are active or the weather is hot. Healthier drink choices are water and milk. One juice or smoothie (maximum 150ml) a day can also be included.
In this lesson your child will be learning that to be healthy, we need to maintain a healthy weight. This is achieved by balancing the energy we take in from food and drinks, with the energy we use to function (e.g. breathing, blinking, thinking) and to be active.
Eating too much food can lead to us consuming more energy than our body needs. Over time, this can cause weight gain and affect our health. We need to eat the right amount of food for our health, and to avoid wasting food by leaving it or eating more than we need.
Your child's homework will be to find four different types of packaged food. They will be asked to note down the amount of energy in 100g and then in one portion of the food to help them practice reading food labels and understanding portion size. Please take care that the packaging your child is handling is clean and safe for this task. Some good examples of packaged food that could be used are: a cereal box, an unopened can of beans, a bottle of tomato ketchup or a clean and empty packet of frozen fish fingers.
This activity will highlight that the energy provided by foods and drinks varies depending on portion size. As your child is looking at various food packaging, encourage them to think about how the packing should be disposed of after use. Do the packages contain recycling information? What does it say?
People tend to eat more food when they eat while watching TV, probably because they don’t notice that they are getting full. It’s better to eat together without the TV so you can enjoy the taste of your food and notice when your body has had enough.
Making healthy, sustainable choices
In the previous lesson your child began to understand food labels. This week they will become "Label Detectives" and use what they learnt last week to look at the fat, sugars and salt content of different foods. Their class will also be thinking about how they can make healthier food and drink choices. The lesson will also explore different labels such as date and recycling labels, learning about when and how to dispose of products responsibly.
For their homework, your child will be asked to do a food waste survey, checking which foods in the home could be likely to be thrown away if they’re close to their use by date or are past their best, consider with the children how you may be able to use the foods if still consumable. Could you blend wrinkled vegetables into a soup, add yogurt into a cake or turn soft apples into a puree?
According to Love Food Hate Waste the average family of four can save just over £60 per month by reducing their food waste. In UK households we waste 6.5 million tonnes of it every year, 4.5 million of which is edible.
Staying active for you and the planet
This is the final lesson of the Eat Like A Champ programme. We hope you have enjoyed working with your child on the different tasks, and seen the results of their new healthy eating and sustainability knowledge! This week your child will learn about the importance of staying active. Children need to be active for at least 60 minutes a day, move more and spend less time sitting. This will help them to have strong bones, strong muscles and a healthy heart. Staying active can also help children to feel happier, sleep better, stay a healthy weight and to concentrate better.
In class this week, your child will be exploring ways to keep active for themselves and the planet such as walking or cycling instead of taking the car or playing outside instead of indoor electronic games, they have also been designing their own physical activity game. Why not ask them if you can play it together at home?
Your child's homework task is to keep a diary of the different activities they do over 3 days. Please encourage them to take part in physical activities that they enjoy and to write them down in their homework passport.
We hope the Eat Like A Champ programme has been fun and inspiring for your child. We aim to improve the programme year on year - please help us by letting us know what you and your child thought of Eat Like A Champ by leaving us a message through the Contact Us page.
You can tell that your heart is beating faster during exercise than during rest by taking your pulse rate. To do this, place two fingers on the inside of your wrist or the top of your neck and count the number of beats for 15 seconds. Multiply this by four to find your pulse rate per minute.