Store starts fruit loyalty cards to encourage kids to eat fewer sweets

Courtney Linton is armed with loyalty cards as she tucks into an apple. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Courtney Linton is armed with loyalty cards as she tucks into an apple. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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SCHOOL pupils are to be issued with “loyalty cards” for fruit as part of a new healthy eating initiative.

Linda and Dennis Williams, who have owned the Broadway Convenience Store in Oxgangs for over 30 years, have rolled out Scotland’s first Fruit Club scheme for 1000 pupils at Oxgangs and Pentland primary schools.

The couple are frequently encouraging everyone in their local area to be as healthy as they can be, and are hopeful their new scheme will encourage more children to eat fruit, as an alternative to sweets.

So while kids will be tucking into hot cross buns and devouring their favourite chocolate eggs over the Easter break, when they get back to school a healthier treat will be in store.

Mrs Williams said: “We can’t choose what the children buy in the shop but we will try to encourage them as best we can.

“To launch the scheme, we are planning on having assemblies in both the schools with a big presentation, where we will explain the purpose of the Fruit Club to pupils.

“We think this would be more effective than just handing the cards out in the classrooms.”

For every individual piece of fruit a child buys from the store, their card will be stamped and on their fifth visit, they will be rewarded with a free piece of fruit.

Linda added: “Ideally we would like the kids to come in every day of the week and get a freebie on a Friday.

“The kids that buy fruit tend to buy a lot, but some kids just aren’t switched on as to how good it is for you.

“By launching this initiative, we aren’t trying to recreate the children’s diets, but if we get them eating more fruit than they did before then that’s positive.”

Just a few weeks ago, Linda and Dennis launched their Big Breakfast Event at Oxgangs primary school, where 400 children were given the opportunity to try a variety of breakfast foods – to show how important the meal is.

The fruit loyalty cards have been endorsed by the Scottish Government Healthy Living programme. Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “The Scottish Government is taking a range of steps to help people to eat more healthily. We are working with the food and drink industry to encourage them to offer healthier choices and change recipes.

“We are running campaigns like Eat Better Feel Better to promote healthy eating, as well as spending over £10m in the four years to 2016 on projects including the Healthy Living Award, the Healthy Living Programme and Community Food and Health Scotland.”