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The Football Association of Ireland have created the Players’ Healthy Eating Guide, in conjunction with SPAR, to encourage children to adopt healthy eating habits.
Eating healthier food helps children to concentrate for longer and learn more in school. It also supplies children with the energy they need to perform at their best at sport. Making smarter food choices as children will help them to grow up to become healthier teenagers and adults.
Players from the Republic of Ireland Men’s and Women’s Senior Teams got involved to help out, as evidenced by the photo above of Jonathan Walters, Paul McShane and Jeff Hendrick trying out some of the meals at the team hotel.
Dan Horan, FAI Head of Fitness, works closely with the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Senior Teams, so he knows all about getting players into peak condition to perform on the pitch. Dan is one of the experts in this Guide, alongside Mark Evans and Ellen Roche, who are highly-skilled and qualified nutritionists and dietitians who have helped to supply a great range of healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options.
Another important person involved in this Guide is David Steele, who is the Head Chef for the Ireland teams, and he prepared each of the amazing looking dishes featured in this Guide. He also helped provide the list of ingredients needed and cooking methods required to prepare the meals.
According to Colin Donnelly, SPAR Sales Director, “We are delighted to be involved in the FAI’s Players’ Guide to Healthy Eating. At SPAR we are focused on providing a strong healthy offering for kids with our SPAR Better Choices Kids initiative.
“Our consultant dietitan Ellen Roche makes sure the health and wellbeing needs of SPAR’s consumers are met and she has really enjoyed contributing to this Guide. I hope children across the children benefit from and enjoy this Players’ Healthy Eating Guide.”
FAI CEO John Delaney welcomed the release of the Guide, saying: “The health and wellbeing of children has always been treated with the highest level of care and detail by the FAI, so this Players’ Healthy Eating Guide ties in exactly with our ethos of child welfare and player development.
“The Guide is a fantastic way for children to adopt positive habits from an early age and we are delighted that SPAR have partnered with us on this worthwhile project. From grassroots level right up to the Republic of Ireland senior teams, we always encourage our players to enjoy playing football and being healthy is the best way to do that.
“I would like to commend Mark Scanlon, Diane Fay and Dylan Maguire in our Schools & Colleges Department for producing this fantastic Guide, while I would also like to acknowledge the input from the Republic of Ireland men’s and women’s senior players. I hope that children around the country use this Guide and share it with their family and friends.”
Also included in the Guide are healthy school lunch ideas, healthy eating tips and full list of foods which will help children to create a balance diet.
The Players’ Guide to Healthy Eating, which is published in both English and Irish, will be available in SPAR outlets nationwide and can be downloaded here – www.fai.ie/healthyeatingguide