The Irish Football Association and safefood team up to encourage children to adopt healthy habits

Safefood has extended its partnership with the Irish Football Association which aims to use football to encourage children to adopt healthy habits.

The partnership will allow the IFA and safefood to expand the delivery of its ‘On the Ball – Healthy Know How for Active Kids’ football-based programs and events.

It will aim to teach the importance of healthy eating habits and being active from an early age to 3,300 children and 700 parents and carers across Northern Ireland.

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As well as continuing to be the Irish FA’s official healthy and safe food partner, the expanded partnership will welcome safefood as an official patron of the Education and Heritage Center at the National Football Stadium, Windsor Park.

This will include free nutrition workshops for visiting schools, focusing on the benefits of healthy eating habits as part of an active lifestyle.

Speaking about the partnership, Fiona Gilligan, Director of Communications at safefood, said: “safefood is proud to continue our innovative collaboration with the Irish FA as we look to expand our ‘On the Ball – Healthy Know How for Active Kids’ program to more than 3,000 children this year.

We will continue to use football in creative and fun ways to educate children about the importance of healthy eating and how it can help them be more active.

“By encouraging children to develop these positive habits during the early stages of life, we can give them the building blocks for a longer, healthier life.

“We will also work closely with the Irish FA to incorporate important messages about safe and healthy eating into the National Football Stadium’s Education and Heritage Centre, which inspires future generations of young footballers.”

“On the Ball – Healthy Know How for Active Kids” programs and events will include rolling out a series of six-week after-school programs to 48 elementary schools, with 12 elementary schools also participating in interactive community-focused festivals.

safefood and the Irish FA will use a mix of animated presentations, player videos, interactive games and quizzes to encourage children to make healthier choices, such as eating more fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks, and swapping sugary drinks for water or milk.

Workshops will also promote the importance of a good night’s sleep for their development, encourage them to be more active every day and give them tips to reduce the time they spend in front of their screens.

Stephen Garrett, Commercial Director of the Irish Football Association, said: “The Irish FA is delighted to extend its strategic partnership with safefood which will seek to educate children and families across Northern Ireland about the importance of ‘a healthy diet.

“We are particularly delighted to incorporate this educational activity into the Irish FA Tours programme, through the Irish FA Education and Heritage Centre, offering free workshops to visiting schools throughout the year. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit

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