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It's 'cheesey pleasey' at Suffolk school

PUBLISHED: 05:32 28 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

TELEVISION star Michaela Strachan said "cheese" on a visit to Suffolk and put schoolchildren in the picture about cheddar, Brie and Parmesan.

The presenter of the BBC's Really Wild Show was guest at Copdock Primary School to talk to pupils about the health benefits of eating cheese.

TELEVISION star Michaela Strachan said "cheese" on a visit to Suffolk and put schoolchildren in the picture about cheddar, Brie and Parmesan.

The presenter of the BBC's Really Wild Show was guest at Copdock Primary School to talk to pupils about the health benefits of eating cheese.

In her role as Detective Cheese Inspector, Ms Strachan is fronting a bid by the British Cheese Board to make school meals healthier.

"Lots of children are not getting as much calcium as they should be," said Ms Strachan.

"Some of them don't get much at all and that will cause them distress when they get older.

"I have been finding out what the children have for lunch and whether they are getting a balanced diet, and telling them how important calcium is. It's particularly vital for growth.

"Cheese is brimming with calcium and it tastes great. We've had some fun talking about our favourite foods and trying out some cheese and the children have really enjoyed it."

Ms Strachan, 36, a former presenter of The Wide Awake Club and The Hitman and Her, is a vegetarian and has been visiting schools to promote cheese as a healthy food.

Nigel White from the British Cheese Board, said: "People don't know enough about cheese and how healthy it can be. This is all part of the educational process," he said.

"If you can just put a small amount of cheese in a packed lunch – be it sandwiches or just a small cube to eat after fruit – it's a step towards giving your child a well balanced diet."

Mr White said a 30g piece of cheese – the size of a matchbox – would get people "well on the way" to the recommended daily dose of calcium.

"In countries such as France, Italy and Germany, they eat three times that amount. We are very calcium and Vitamin D deficient in this country and are storing up an epidemic of osteoporosis," he added.

Nutritionist Jane Griffin, who works with the English cricket team and Harlequins rugby team, said: "Cheese is often seen as unhealthy and we're trying to redress the balance. It shouldn't be a no-no food. It has a lot of nutrients that growing bodies need."

Jane Reed , headteacher of Copdock Primary School, added: "This was a lovely opportunity to promote healthy eating. The children were very excited about meeting Michaela – and some of their dads were pretty excited about it as well."

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