Healthy Eating Policy

Passionate about nutritious and healthy lifestyle choices

At Activ8 Camp we recognise that the Irish diet is excessively high in processed foods. Our goal is to get children into the habit of eating nutritious wholesome natural foods on a daily basis.

We also aim to help them to understand the benefits of making healthy food choices to benefit their health, well being and immune system.

Passionate about helping to create lifelong healthy lifestyle choices

At ACTIV8 Camp we recognise that the Irish diet is excessively high in processed foods. Our goal is to get children into the habit of enjoying eating more nutritious wholesome natural foods on a daily basis.

We also aim to help them to understand the benefits of making healthy food choices to empower them to better manage their own health and wellbeing.

Policy designed by top dietician and Doctors:

Our healthy recipes have been designed in consultation with a selection of top Irish dieticians and Doctors including Roisin Gowan and Dr. Evelyn Ward McManus to ensure we meet the essential nutrients needed to fuel healthy children for an active lifestyle.

Our aim is to use whole single ingredient foods as much as possible while putting the emphasis on eating more fibre rich fruit and vegetables

In line with the best available science consensus, we aim for our meals to consist of at least 85% nutrient packed plant foods such as a wide and colourful variety of: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and spices. We also serve skinless turkey fillet, chicken or fish every day except on our Plant Based Wednesday.

With our personal and planetary health in mind, every Wednesday our meals are 100%  plant based. Our delicious Plant Based Wednesday Meals are designed with internationally renowned nutrition experts: Dr. Alan Desmond and Dr. Shireen Kassam

During the camp, we will be serving up tasty wholesome breakfast, lunch and snacks with an emphasis on nutrient and fibre rich grains, healthy fats & protein, fruits and vegetables.

Our programme strives to:

  • Reduce unhealthy snacks and junk food
  • Reduce our added sugar, salt and oil intake by reducing our processed food intake
  • Help develop a habit of enjoying and choosing nutritious whole foods.

Activ8 is a Junk food free camp: The only drinks recommended during camp are: Water and Fruit Smoothies (water flavoured naturally using fresh fruit slices such as lemon, cucumber and orange etc is also encouraged)

We strictly do not permit Junk foods of any kind in activ8camp including: fizzy drinks, sports drinks, chocolate, sweets, cereal bars, cakes, biscuits and crisps.

Packed lunch for Day trips: Children will bring their own healthy packed lunch for our exciting adventure day trips. They should also bring a packed snack for small break on camp days

Packed lunch ideas for families. What should I pack??

With all the marketing, noise and confusion on healthy eating, it can be difficult for parents and guardians to know what foods are healthiest for their children’s lunch box. Please see below for sample healthy foods we recommend to include in lunch boxes for packed lunches and away days.

  • Sandwich made with wholegrain/ brown seedy bread
  • Brown pasta/ brown rice salad in a tomato sauce with veggies
  • Wholemeal cracker or rice cakes topped with hummus
  • Lots of colourful chopped fresh or dried fruits & veggies (The more the better)
  • Fresh fruit smoothies
  • Popcorn
  • Lots of water to keep hydrated
  • Overall a healthy lunch box should consist of at least 85% whole plant foods like listed above to lower the amount of ultra processed foods.

To get the maximum health benefits from our programme we recommend refraining from the following foods as part of packed lunches (for your convenience the health reasons for us suggesting to avoid these foods are included below as well as healthy or healthier alternatives)

Item Reason Suggested alternative
Sweetened yogurt drinks and high sugar yogurts (especially those labelled low fat) High sugar to replace the fat natural yogurts with stewed or fresh fruit pieces (soy or plant based yogurt alternatives encouraged)
Cordial Juice Such as Miwadi or Ribena High in artificial sweeteners Water flavoured naturally with slices of fresh fruit.
Fruit juice (even pure fruit juice): Juicing fruit removes the fibre and much of the vitamin and minerals. The fibreless juice confuses our body and can

cause a spike in blood sugar  and insulin levels.

Homemade Fruits smoothies are a better alternative but we much prefer eating whole fruits (sliced or chopped is perfect)
Biscuits, bars, fizzy drinks sweets, cakes or junk food of any kind High in saturated fats, salt, sugar, artificial sweeteners. Associated with rapid weight can and health concerns (We will be making high energy delicious healthy treats with the children for example  our now famous Choco energy balls and our healthy salted caramel slices)

We will also be teaching children how to make their own home made healthy sports drinks

Processed cheese(such as dairy lea lunchables, laughing cow or similar) Poor nutritional value and loaded with preservatives Any natural cheese.

(Although we recommend to reduce cheese consumption due to high saturated fat content and low nutritional value)

Breaded meats or fish Poor nutritional value and unwanted processed ingredients and preservatives Natural fish or meat with any natural herbs or spices to taste

Plant based sources of protein highly recommend including beans, legumes, wholegrains nuts and seeds

Processed and packaged meats (please limit as much as possible. The Less the better) They are extremely handy but research shows they are highly dangerous for everyday consumption. There is no safe amount and they are loaded with preservatives and carcinogenic ingredients Natural fish or meat with any natural herbs or spices to taste recommended as healthier alternative.
Flavoured Milk Such as mooju Very high in sugar, saturated fats, preservatives  and sweeteners Regular milk if you wish or preferably water
Cereal  and Granola Bar High in sugars and artificial sweeteners Wholegrain crackers, rice cakes, corn cakes or raw fruit and nut bars. Homemade oat or energy bars
Crisps High in Saturated fats Lightly salted pop corn, baked tortilla chip or rice snacks
White bread and grains Slow release energy from slower digested wholegrains contributes to consistent and optiumum energy levels and

Keeps children feeling fuller for longer. White or refinded carbohydrates have a significantly lower nutriotional value and have been linked to health conditions especially obesity.

Wholgrain bread, wholegrain crackers, rolls, wholemeal wraps, brown pasta, Quinoa and brown rice.

Our daily nutritious meals:

We aim to cut down on processed and added sugar ingredients and focus on healthy wholesome natural foods as much as possible for breakfast, lunch and snacks.

Food groups, nutrients and optimum hydration: Whole foods used in Activ8 Camp meals
Grains & Fibre: Big emphasis on a variety of whole grains including: Brown rice , wholemeal pasta, wholegrain bread and wraps, Quinoa, Oats, wholemeal couscous , buck wheat and bulgar wheat
Fruits and Vegetables, Fibre, Vitamins and mineral: Large variety of colourful fruits and vegetables will be a central part to all our meals and snacks
Protein, fibre, vitamins and mineral: Small amounts of Fish, chicken, turkey, beef, milk, yogurts with greater emphasis on healthier protein plant sources such as beans, legumes, lentils, whole grains, seeds and nuts
Fats: Avocado/ Extra virgin Olive oil cooking oil, guacamole, hummus, low fat coconut milk, nuts and seeds
Water: Naturally flavoured water.

Please note: Parents have the option to opt out of our healthy eating programme; however we strongly advise that every child participates to see the huge health benefits for themselves.

We also greatly encourage the parents and guardians to continue our healthy eating ethos at home to get the most benefit out of our programme. It has been amazing to hear the amazing feedback from families who have adopted our programme beyond the camp. Keep sending us your success stories, we love hearing them.

Our promise: Give it a chance and once you realise how energetic, charged and healthy you’ll feel eating real whole foods, you’ll never look back!!

Please see articles and video on www.activ8camp.com to learn more about health benefits of reducing added sugar intake and eating more whole foods and to see the great feedback we get from children and parents.