Back in October, the children at our After School Club kicked off the Little Manor Loves Hearts programme funded by Heart Research UK.

The programme aims to educate and inform the children on how a healthy lifestyle can contribute to a healthy heart and the long-term benefits this yields. The activities are delivered in an exciting and fun way.

                       

Static Bike Team Challenge

For the Static Bike Challenge, the children have been divided into four teams. Every team name incorporates a city – Aberdeen Atriums, Canterbury Capillaries, Derry Diastolics, & Plymouth 

Platelets. Each of these cities is approximately 321 miles from Blackpool. The challenge is a race to Blackpool, whichever team gets to Blackpool first wins. The teams get to Blackpool by pedalling static bikes. Each week, every child pedals a static bike for 5 minutes and the distance that they travel is recorded and added to their team’s total. Distance travelled is being plotted on a giant UK Map. The static bikes are also made available for the children to practice at any time.

Children are also being taught how to take their blood pressure and heart rate both manually and using blood pressure machines. They take these measurements before and after each timed ride and are learning the significance of the figures.

Food Diaries

At the start of the programme, each child completes a food diary charting their diet for a week. They will be asked to complete a second diary at the end of the programme when we will evaluate the changes.

Healthy Meals

Each half term the children focus on a particular food area - meat, fish, fruit & vegetables, carbohydrates, salt and sugars. The children will get to take part in food tastings, cooking and quiz sessions all the while learning how each food group can affect health of their heart.

Recipe Book

Throughout the year each child will have the opportunity to research and illustrate a heart healthy recipe which will be included in a printed and bound recipe book which each child will receive at the end of the programme.

Surveys

At the beginning, middle and end of the programme, each child will complete a questionnaire relating to heart health. The results will help us to evaluate the learning that has taken place.

Bistro Night

The programme will end with the children being able to put demonstrate what they have learnt at special evening for the children and their families. The children will be preparing and serving meals that they have researched and practiced cooking throughout the year. During the Bistro Night there will also be presentations and the winners of the Static Bike Challenge will be crowned.

We’ve still got a long way to go, but all of the activities are proving popular.The race to Blackpool is furious and the children are being incredibly adventurous about trying new foods

Thank you to Heart Research UK for enabling us to run this programme. For more information about Heart Research UK click here.