MSP praises sensory centre’s new Flavour School

A new ‘Flavour School’ aimed at encouraging healthy eating and promoting awareness of sensory issues of local children has received high praise from the area’s MSP.

By Charlene Wilson
Thursday, 5th September 2019, 5:46 pm

Falkirk West politician Michael Matheson described the facility, at the Forth Valley Sensory Centre in Camelon, as “a fantastic initiative”.

Mr Matheson was speaking during a tour of the garden where all the fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown.

He added: “I’m really impressed. It is a great project helping to encourage young people to try new and different types of healthy foods all grown in a dedicated area at the centre with various sensory issues in mind.

“The centre is utilising the produce grown in its cafe too which is fantastic as it means the food goes straight from the garden to the plate.”

The project, run in partnership with Forth Environment Link (FEL) and funded by Falkirk Council and the Central Scotland Green Network Fund, enjoyed a successful summer pilot with children from Windsor Park School.

Emily Harvey of FEL said all the youngsters who took part had fun and learned new things. “The focus of the lessons was very much on how everyone is different and how some people perceive the world in different ways.

“By the end of the classes we noticed changes in the variety of the food the children were eating, especially more fruit and veg.

“As well as helping to develop their palates, the classes also helped them to increase literacy relating to food.”

Clara Walker, also from FEL, added: “It’s been a great project to be part of and see the children involved trying and enjoying lots of different healthy foods such as beetroots, carrots, strawberries and sampling a variety of herbs too, from a sensory aspect.”

Following the success of the pilot, children from across Falkirk will be invited to the Flavour School throughout the school year.

Jacquie Winning, Forth Valley Sensory Centre Manager said: “Encouraging children to eat healthily is incredibly important in helping lower instances of preventable sensory loss such as diabetic retinopathy which can be caused by Type 2 diabetes.

“It is also important to educate young people about sensory loss.

“Encouraging understanding that not everyone sees or hears the world in the same way helps build a more tolerant society.”