UEFA, the European Commission and the World Heart Federation joined forces in Brussels to help launch the Eat for Goals! children's cookbook, in which 13 top footballers give recipes for their favourite healthy dishes.
A star-studded list has contributed to the book - in order of chapters, Abbas Suan, Barry Ferguson, Birgit Prinz, Carles Puyol, Cathrine Paaske Sørensen, Fabio Cannavaro, Heurelho Gomes, Kelly Smith, Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Steven Gerrard and Thierry Henry A detailed list of the ingredients and step-by-step instructions for preparing each of the 13 dishes makes it easy for even an inexperienced child to make delicious, healthy meals. In looking for the link between a balanced, healthy diet and performance - essential for any football player - the book gives the nutritional values per portion and a wealth of food tips.
The launch event in Brussels was attended by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner in charge of the health portfolio, Professeur Pekka Puska, president-elect of the World Heart Federation, and UEFA's communications director William Gaillard. All three helped a dozen pupils at the British School of Brussels to prepare two of the dishes included in the book.
Focusing on obesity
Through the active support of Eat for Goals! UEFA, the World Heart Federation and the European Commission are focusing attention on obesity, one of the major public health issues of the 21st century. "The world of football has long inspired people of any age and gender to exercise. It has now set out to inspire them to eat well too," said William Gaillard.
Investing in Europe's future
"The European Commission views the activities that encourage healthy lifestyles among children as an investment in the future of Europe, " explained Ms Vassiliou. "Our policies on nutrition and physical activity aim at preserving the health capital of our citizens. They stress the importance of healthy eating as well as the need to live an active life, for society as a whole and children in particular.
"The Eat for Goals! initiative skillfully combines sports, through using football players as role models, and nutrition to encourage children to adopt healthy lifestyles," she added. "I welcome this joint initiative by the UEFA, the World Heart Federation and the European Commission and I have no doubt that this book will score goals among young Europeans."
"Food & Nutrition has been on the British School of Brussels' curriculum for more than 20 years. Eat for Goals! reinforces our own philosophy of teaching our children from an early age to feed themselves in a healthy way," added Dr Brenda Despontin, Principal of The British School of Brussels. "Our students use fresh ingredients and no additives; they know what's in the recipe and are able to make informed choices."
How to buy Eat for Goals
Eat for Goals! was created for children aged five to eleven and is published in English, French and German by publisher Falkemedia based. The book is in hardback and costs €12.90. It will be available in bookshops throughout Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland from the end of October and is already available to be ordered online at www.falkemedia-shop.de. Discussions are at an early stage regarding publication in other formats and in other European languages and countries.
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