Over the last year, children from Little Manor after school club have taken part in an ambitious range of activities designed to improve their knowledge about heart health. Every week 60 children participated in a number of activities looking at what we eat, how we keep active and the lifestyle required to maintain a healthy heart. During the year, the children spent six weeks at a time focusing on a different area of their diet. Areas covered included meat, fish, carbohydrates, fruit & vegetables, salt and sugars. Within each area the children undertook food tasting, recipe research and cooking sessions. They tasted things from Stilton, to Roll Mops, and learned all about why these foods keep your heart healthy. Regular quizzes made sure this knowledge stuck!

Alongside this, they have been racing Pedal Pros (static bikes) as part of a team challenge to see who could reach Blackpool first! They learned to take their heart rate before and after each session and we’ve been tracking how this improves over time. This has been a hectic amount of activity, taking place every week during after-school club but has been really positive – with the food tasting in particular being an unexpected highlight: we were impressed with how adventurous our tasters were!

To celebrate all the hard-work of the children and all the new achievements we’ve seen we hosted a Bistro Night. The Little Manor Healthy Loves Hearts Bistro night, saw all the children who had taken part invite their parents along for an evening of celebration. During the evening families were served a 3 course meal made up of the recipes the children had found whilst undertaking the project. Each course was introduced by the children who had helped find the recipe and they explained why it was good for our hearts:

STARTER: Smoked Salmon, Cucumber & Dill, Wholegrain Toast.

MAIN COURSE: Parcels of Chicken and Steamed Vegetables.

DESSERT: Healthy Yoghurt Raspberry Syllabub.

After dinner was our celebration award ceremony, every team was awarded a medal for their efforts in the static bike team challenge, which saw the Canterbury Capillaries just pip the Derry Diastolics to the post in taking Gold.


GOLD: Canterbury Capillaries

SILVER: Derry Diastolics

JOINT BRONZE: Aberdeen Atriums & Plymouth Platelets

The project has been a fantastic opportunity for us to explore heart health with the children in a fun and interactive way. Newham has particularly high levels of poor heart health and we hope to directly tackle this equipping the children we work with, with the knowledge and skills to take care of their hearts.We have also produced a recipe book of all the recipes that the children planned and cooked over the course of the project. This, once completed, will be printed and a copy given to each child who took part.

Little Manor ♥s Hearts has been made possible with generous funding from Heart Research UK.