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Healthy Choices, Healthy Communities Print

As one of 17 Community Food Initiative (CFI) leader organisations in Ireland, South West Mayo Development Company (SWMDC) recently hosted a food and nutrition showcase event in Breaffy House Hotel called, 'Learning from the Experts'.

The event was opened by Gerry O'Neill, SWMDC, its aim being 'To combat the effects of food poverty, this event aims to positively influence the eating habits of families by providing them with the knowledge and tools to make more healthy choices around food and nutrition' said Mr O'Neill.



Dr Colette Kelly, NUI Galway, spoke about nutrition, healthy food choices, portion size and management of treats. Karen Capcarrere of FoodCloud addressed food wastage in Ireland, and commented that Irish households spend an average €700 on food which goes to waste every year. Jacinta Dalton, GMIT Galway presented food labelling information, and drew gasps from around the room with details of the sugar content in well-known foods and drinks.

The presentations generated a lively debate among the 64 attendees, who posed questions to the panel on healthy eating, understanding labels, and tips for parents. The event was rounded off with a cooking demonstration by Breaffy House Hotel chef, David O'Meara. David cooked chicken stir-fry using ingredients bought on a budget.


Also in attendance were a number of agencies including, Tusla Family Support, Mayo County Childcare Committee, FoodCloud, Common Sense Parenting, SWMDC Social Inclusion Programme, and Mayo Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS).

To encourage participation, a supervised area for children was provided on site. Here, a total of 33 children were entertained, while their parents learned about food and nutrition.


Feedback from the event was very positive; "I got lots of new information about sugar content and labelling, great event", "Really enjoyed the event, should do this on a more regular basis", "It was really helpful to have the children's supervised area". For more advice on healthy eating, see www.safefood.eu.


South West Mayo Development Company, Main Company Office, Georges Street, Newport, Co. Mayo, (F28 X329) Ireland.
T: +353 (0) 98 41950  F: +353 (0) 98 41952  E: info@southmayo.com

Rural Social Scheme Office, Main Street, Balla, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
T: +353 (0) 94 9366692  F: +353 (0) 94 9366693 E: rss@southmayo.com

Registered in Dublin 182222. Recognised by the Revenue Commissioners as a Charity No. CHY 10482
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