Protection for young hearts

Pictured with Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond are   (left to right) Fiona Turner, Rosemarie Kennedy, Norman Wilford and Alan Walker of the British Heart Foundation.

Pictured with Hartlepool Mayor Stuart Drummond are (left to right) Fiona Turner, Rosemarie Kennedy, Norman Wilford and Alan Walker of the British Heart Foundation.

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A CHARITY which is tackling Hartlepool’s heart disease problems has revealed plans to help children.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has unveiled information packs to help solve the problem of fat-filled foods laid on at children’s parties.

BHF officials say parents would be shocked if they knew that a standard plate of children’s party food could be more calorific and laden with saturated fat than an entire pepperoni pizza.

But a new party pack from the BHF shows how they can still lay on tasty treats without the usual gut-busting nutritional content.

The interactive pack provides parents and teachers with easy-to-follow recipes to create party favourites such as mini pizzas, chocolate buns and jellies with lower amounts of sugar, salt, fat and saturated fat than standard party foods.

The animal-themed packs are aimed at four to eight-year-olds and come with glossy game cards to inspire fun games and craft activities to get the party in full swing, as well as animal invitations and placemats and a big book of stickers to decorate them with.

Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietitian at the BHF, said: “Parties are a time for celebration and treating our children. But I’m sure few parents would give an entire 10-inch pepperoni pizza to a young child for a meal. Yet giving them a standard plate of party food means they would actually consume more calories and saturated fat.

“It’s not about banning cakes and biscuits, or serving up a plate of boring vegetables. But many young children have busy social lives with parties being a regular occurrence.

“A few small changes can mean the difference between them regularly having too much saturated fat, salt and sugar and instead eating treats that are not only fun and tasty but much better for them too.”

Suggestions include swapping traditional pizza slices for “muffin monster” pizzas made with bread muffin bases.

Replacing ice cream for “cone chums” filled with raspberry frozen yoghurt, which cuts the amount of sugar per portion by a quarter, is another example.

The Mail revealed earlier this year how Hartlepool had become the only British Heart Foundation (BHF) Heart Town in the North at a time when more than 100 people are still dying of heart disease in Hartlepool each year.

Town mayor Stuart Drummond helped launch the scheme back in February along with officials from the charity.

The deal means more will be done communities together through local fundraising and volunteering as well as raising awareness of heart disease and offering residents a raft of support services including to bring people together in fundraising.

For more information, visit www.bhf.org.uk/partypacks