Local store lays on Big Breakfast at Kirkcaldy school

The Breakfast club to promote healthy eating, funded by Smeaton Stores owners Abadah and Asif Akhtar with P2 pupils and Louise Connolly and Kathryn Neil from the Healthy Living programme (Fife Photo Agency)
The Breakfast club to promote healthy eating, funded by Smeaton Stores owners Abadah and Asif Akhtar with P2 pupils and Louise Connolly and Kathryn Neil from the Healthy Living programme (Fife Photo Agency)

Pupils at a Kirkcaldy primary school tucked into a ‘Big Breakfast’ this week to encourage a healthy start to the day.

The event was held by the award-winning Smeaton Stores in conjunction with the Scottish Government’s Healthy Living Programme and saw all of the school’s pupils tuck in whilst being encouraged to choose healthy food first thing in the morning.

Asif and Abadah Akhtar who own the Chestnut Avenue store already help fund a breakfast club at Balwearie High School and have won awards for their community work.

Abadah said that when approached by the Scottish Grocers Federation Healthy Living programme she was keen to get involved.

We were approached as we’ve done a lot of charity work for local causes and we were delighted to be able to help because this is something that I’m really passionate about.

“It’s about not only encouraging healthy eating but also to show the children that there are a number of different options for them to eat for breakfast in the morning.

“So on Tuesday morning we had set up a buffet arrangement where they could come and choose what they wanted to try and we gave them tips and advice too.

“We had things like cereal and toast but then we would also explain that they could have low fat instead of full fat butter, or maybe try syrup or honey instead of either, or even just eating fruit.

“A healthy breakfast is really important. Unfortunately there are a huge number of children going to school in the morning having not had anything to eat for a number of different reasons, not just because they come from a low income family.”

Kathryn Neil from the Healthy Living programme explained how they were also involved.

“What we do is fully funded by the Scottish Government. It’s an initiative to support retailers provide healthier options in convenience stores for their consumers.

“So our drive is to go around places like Smeaton Stores and make sure that they have an offering of healthier products on sale, like fresh fruit and veg.

“It’s to help educate the retailer, but we also link up with the retailer and places such as primary schools and try to educate them as well and that’s where coming in and doing a Big Breakfast event like this works.

“The retailer provides the goods and we come along and speak to the children about the benefits of a healthy breakfast and healthy eating.

“So it works in two ways; it’s great education for the children but it also allows that store to be seen as the community store. All the kids get to know Abadah and Asif so there’s a feelgood factor.”

Kathryn said she was delighted with the response at Dunnikier.

“The feedback we got from the staff and the pupils at Dunnikier was fantastic.

“We were getting the kids to try fruits and breakfast cereals that they’d never tried in their lives. So it’s all about giving them different options that they can have for their breakfast.

“There’s so many kids that go out in the morning without having any breakfast at all so this will have hopefully given them some ideas.

“A really popular one was toast with honey and banana. So may of them tried that one. I’s a different alternative for them to try and to think about, and that’s our aim.

Abadah added that she also enjoyed the event.

“It went very well. The kids were amazing. We had so many of them coming in that we were busy non-stop.

“I really need to thank Suzanne from Booker Wholesale who helped get everything that we needed. She was a huge help.

“It was a great morning - really hectic! – and hopefully it will have given the children some ideas that they can take home.”