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Havering Council launches England’s first council-created app Veggie Run to encourage children eating healthily

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 April 2018

Children from Engayne Primary School at  the launch of England’s first council-created app to promote healthy eating to primary and junior school children

Children from Engayne Primary School at the launch of England’s first council-created app to promote healthy eating to primary and junior school children

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The first council-created app has launched to encourage children to eat healthier and to target childhood obesity in the borough.

Veggie Run, England’s first app created by a local authority, which was launched by Havering Council last week, has been developed in partnership with children in the area and supported by Change4Life and Quorn.

The app aims to address the rising obesity epidemic in Havering and highlight the health benefits of a healthy school catered lunch.

Head of Havering Council catering services Dennis Brewin said: “One of the main reasons the app has been developed is due to recent evidence that only 1 per cent of packed lunches are healthy.

“We hope that by playing the game the majority of the 23,720 Havering primary and junior school children currently registered in school in the borough will be able to identify the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods.

“All Crunch Brunch characters in Veggie Run will be consistently used across all new primary and Junior school menus in the borough to ensure children see the direct link between game play and healthy eating.”

The new Crunch Bunch characters have been especially designed to appeal to children aged four - 11-years-old.

It aims to teach children to dodge unhealthy foods and earn rewards by collecting fruit and vegetables.

Users will also be able to view weekly school lunch menus and parents can purchase meals via the app’s links.

The benefit of playing Veggie Run is that Havering school children can compete to win sporty prizes for themselves and their school each term.

A Change4Life spokesman said: “Veggie Run is a brilliant and an exciting app to help children understand about healthy eating, we are proud to support such an innovative app that directly rewards children with sports prizes.”

The game has been trialled at Engayne Primary School, Severn Drive, Upminster, since last summer and children have given the app top feedback.

Eight-year-old Ayla Allen said it is “very challenging” while nine-year-old Dylan Rynhound said it was “better than Subway Turf”.

Nine-year-old Miley Allen said: “It’s very challenging and it helps me to understand to dodge the unhealthy foods.”

To download the app, visit itunes or Google Play.

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