HEALTHY children in Kirklees schools have something new to get their teeth into during morning break.
Juicy satsumas, crunchy apples and vitamin-packed bananas are all being served up as part of a new scheme. And it's proving a hit with the children involved.
Schools across the district are taking part in a new Government campaign which aims to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables. All children aged four to six in infant, primary and special schools, receive a free piece of fruit or a portion of vegetables each day.
Research shows that encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables improves growth and development, protects against heart disease and some forms of cancer in later life, and reduces the symptoms of asthma in childhood.
Apples, pears, bananas, satsumas and carrots have all been handed out before morning playtime for youngsters to enjoy.
And cherry tomatoes and strawberries are also promised as part of the scheme during the summer.
Kirkroyds Infants School at New Mill is one of the local schools taking part.
The Examiner asked the children and deputy head teacher Mrs Louise Armitage about how popular the scheme had been since it was introduced on November 15.
"The children are given a piece of fruit every day on their way out to morning playtime," said Mrs Armitage. "They are given a different fruit every day. We receive a delivery twice a week from the supplier, which allows time for ripening.
"Many parents have been pleased by the way the scheme has encouraged their child to try a fruit at school - when all their friends are eating it - which they may not eat at home. A mid morning snack packed full of vitamins and minerals is also good for concentration levels in class."
EXPERTS recommend that everyone eats at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day.
On average children in England eat only two portions a day.
A national survey found that one in five children didn't eat any fruit at all in a week.
Fresh, frozen, canned, dried or cooked fruit and vegetables count.
Potatoes don't count as they play a different part in our diet. Beans and pulses count, but once a day.
Fruit juice counts, but only as one portion however much is drunk.
A portion is a typical serving of fruit or vegetables, for example an apple, a banana, three heaped tablespoons of frozen peas or canned sweetcorn, or a glass of fruit juice.
Some food packets carry a 5 A DAY indicator.