Experts from the University of Stirling’s world-renowned Institute of Aquaculture have visited local primary schools to teach children about the benefits of eating fish.
Around 300 schoolchildren from Balfron and St Ninians Primary Schools got to grips with various species of fish during hands-on lessons, held over the past month.
The initiative is part of Business in the Community Scotland’s Food for Thought programme, which aims to involve nursery, primary and secondary school children in food-related projects. Through its work, the scheme aims to encourage healthier eating habits and provide a better understanding of the positive impact that the food and drink industry has on the Scottish economy.
As part of the programme, staff from the Institute of Aquaculture’s Nutrition Group – Dr Matthew Sprague, Dr Mónica Betancor, Dr William Clark, Dr Naoki Kabeya, Chelsea Broughton and Fiona Strachan – visited local schools.
Children learned how fish and seafood in general are important sources of protein and omega-3, and that two portions should be eaten weekly as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Pupils also got the chance to learn more about fish biology through a dissection practical; see different species of fish; and understand that farmed fish require healthy nutritional and balanced feeds in order to grow and feed us. The children also sampled smoked salmon.
Graeme Mayes, Depute Headteacher of Balfron Primary, said: “This was a fun and engaging way to introduce fish to children and promote something that is healthy and good for us.”
Dr Sprague said: “Scotland is a great seafood country and yet two-thirds of the population do not eat the recommended weekly amount.
“The children really enjoyed learning about fish and the important role it plays in keeping us healthy.
“The visits were a great success and we are planning on organising further events next year.”