This week marks National School Meals Week, and in support of the initiative the 23-year-old goalkeeper headed the lesson, which focused on what makes a healthy sandwich. The children shared their ideas of fillings as Ben divulged that his favourite choice would be tuna and cucumber on granary bread, before making his way round the room as the pupils made their own healthy sandwiches using artificial food.
Following the lesson Ben took part in a question and answer activity as the children quizzed him on his football career and diet.
He later commented, “I love doing things like this and getting involved with the kids, they were all really enthusiastic. I think they learned a lot about eating well and what it can do for you, which I’ve experienced myself through changing my diet and how much better I feel, so if they can do that at this age it will set them up well.
“Young children tend to look up to footballers so hopefully me taking part in their lesson will have made an impact on them.”
Seven-year-old Mason Driver from Northenden said, “When I knew Ben was coming in I was really excited, I was just staring out of the window waiting for him to arrive. He told us that some footballers don’t eat well like they are supposed to but he does. He helped us make a healthy sandwich and I feel like I know more what to eat now."
Year 3 teacher Susan Riley added, “It’s had a really big impact on the children, because after learning about healthy meals a lot of them have decided to sway away from sugary options like peanut butter and jam chose healthier alternatives at lunchtime.
“I think Manchester United running sessions in school has been a great help and when they found out Ben was coming, even the Manchester City supporters were quite impressed by that, they’ve all been really excited and geared up all day.”
Manchester United Foundation is currently delivering its ‘Something to Chew On’ healthy lifestyle programme at all primary schools in the Wythenshawe area through its partnership with Wythenshawe Housing Trust. It is a ten-week programme that uses the Manchester United brand to educate school children about being healthy in order to tackle rising obesity rates. The programme covers football, fitness and nutrition and teaches pupils about the importance of eating healthily and leading a balanced lifestyle.