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Online game launched by Food Standards Scotland to improve school kids’ diets

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) is calling on schools to embrace its innovative new healthy eating and food safety online resource aimed at helping children improve their diets and food hygiene practices.

Developed by FSS, the interactive game is available to teachers and children across the country.

Cookin Castle supports the Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence and uses a friendly wizard to guide pupils through the website and games which aim to teach pupils the importance of a healthy balanced diet.

The game also highlights the importance of good food hygiene, such as correct food storage and effective hand washing. It was successfully piloted by 500 pupils in schools across Scotland.

Geoff Ogle, Chief Executive of FSS said ‘The diet of children in Scotland needs to improve. The current intake of fruit, vegetables and fibre is too low and the consumption of sugar, saturated fat and salt is too high. As a result of this, almost a third (29%) of children in Scotland are already at risk of becoming overweight or obese when they enter adulthood. Too much sugar can also lead to poor dental hygiene with 32 per cent of pupils in primary one and 27 per cent of pupils in primary seven having dental decay.  We also know that being overweight increases the risks of type 2 diabetes which is almost entirely diet related and therefore preventable.

Our new online education resource, Cookin Castle is just one step FSS is taking to provide children with a solid foundation for establishing healthy life-long eating habits. FSS aims for schools across Scotland to use the game as a tool in the classroom to help children make better decisions about food.’

Pupils from Borestone Primary in Stirling, who took part in the pilot project, were delighted to help Food Standards Scotland launch the new game at Stirling Castle on Tuesday 22 September 2015. And there was a real life magic ‘wizard’ on hand to bring a little magic to the occasion.

Head teacher at Borestone, Gillian Robertson, believes the game helps children think about what they’re eating and why their choices are important. She said: “We’re getting behind Food Standards Scotland's new education resource as we know that for many families across Scotland, cooking and eating healthy food can be a real challenge.

“The great thing about the game is it’s fun and gives simple tips on what ingredients and food groups are needed to make a healthy meal and how these choices ultimately will make them feel better. 

“We’re committed to ensuring children know about where their food comes from and how we can cook and eat healthy meals. This is a great tool and we look forward to using it with more of our pupils.” 

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Education resources

CfE linked activities to feed into your lesson plans and deliver food safety and healthy eating messages.