I have developed a number of successful interactive nutrition and exercise workshops for primary and secondary school students.
With over 10 years working in Irish primary and secondary schools in my role as Marketing Director with Junior Achievement Ireland, I have extensive experienced working with young people. In my time with Junior Achievement I also designed and developed a range of successful interactive science and maths programmes, which are currently taught in primary schools around Ireland.
A Whole School Health and Wellness Programme
A multi component approach to health and wellbeing in schools encompassing and involving the whole school experience.
Students,teachers, parents, management and the community work coherently together building a thriving positive culture where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
The “Wellbeing Matters” Programme covers nutrition, exercise, mental fitness, resilience and relaxation and consists of three components:
Student Health & Wellbeing Programme
Teacher Health & Wellbeing Programme
Parents/Community Health & Wellbeing Seminars
I currently offer four secondary school programmes:
“The Power Of Nutrition and Exercise”
80 minutes (Double class)
Through group activities and discussion young people discover the power of nutrition and exercise to their bodies by physically and mentally. The workshop encourages young people to take responsibility for own health in a very hands on way.
With practical meal and snack demonstrations, students then learn how to fuel their bodies to maximise energy, health and performance. “The Power of Nutrition and Exercise” can be run as an interactive workshop with smaller class groups or as a seminar with larger numbers.
“Nutrition for Optimum Health and Vitality”
3 x 40 minutes (Triple class)
This workshop fits very well as part of a nutrition and health module with Transition Year. The workshop helps young people understand how their bodies metabolise different foods and which foods fuel their bodies effectively.
Practical healthy eating tips are shared and students are introduced to quick and easy snack, breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas. They also get to sample a range of different healthy food snacks. Every students receives my recipe booklet on completion of the workshop.
The "High Performance Sports Programme"
The High Performance Sports Programme is designed for sports performance teams from all disciplines. The programme covers two key components: Sports nutrition and a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programme.
Sports nutrition is covered in a 80-minute seminar on the power of good nutrition to energy, mood and performance on and off the field. Students are shown examples of very simple but nutritious breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that are ideal for optimising health, performance and recovery before, during and after training/matches.
Following the nutrition seminar, students embark on an 8-week High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) programme which improves speed, agility, strength, power and performance.
Health and Wellness
Five week programme (5 double classes)
This comprehensive health and wellness programme has proven very popular in Transition Year classes. This very practical programme gives students hands on tips on how to improve nutrition, exercise and manage anxiety and stress. The five sessions cover:
Nutrition: Practical tips on how to fuel the body for optimum health and performance
Exercise: Interval Training for all levels of fitness, understanding heart rate zones, RPE scale, 10,000 steps and practical tips on how to bring exercise into everyday.
Cookery Class: Students create healthy meals and snacks (low sugar, protein rich, nutritious snacks for busy people on the go)
Fun physical group activity: Interval training and a strength and conditioning home workout
Wellbeing: Breathing techniques and meditation
“The seminar really was interesting, the main thing I learned was about nutritious snacks that are easy to make and easy to bring in to school!”
Student, Dominican College Sion Hill
“Alva O'Sullivan conducted workshops with our senior girls this year where the science of nutrition was explored. The workshops were dynamic and professionally delivered with the children actively involved and engaged throughout. The workshops were meticulously prepared and addressed some key learning outcomes in both the SESE and SPHE curricula. The feedback received from the children, the teachers and, indeed, the parents was overwhelmingly positive. We will definitely be availing of the services of Alva again during the course of the coming year.”
Brian O' Doherty - Principal, St. Patrick's Loreto Primary School, Bray
“Nutrition in the Fast Lane”
is a child-friendly, interactive workshop that empowers children to make healthy lifestyle choices around food and exercise and helps them understand the impact of healthy eating and physical activity to their energy, health and performance.
Children learn the importance of eating healthy foods and exercising to thier bodies and minds.
Children discuss what foods nourish and what foods stress their bodies
Working in teams, children develop a healthy menu for a day in the life of a busy celebrity/athlete to maximise vitality and performance.
Following discussion, children realise that just as busy celebrities/athletes look after their nutrition and EXERCISE to ensure health, vitality and performance, they too as young busy children, need to take RESPONSIBILITY for their own nutrition and physical activity.
Workshops are 40 minutes in duration and as they are interactive, only accommodate one class group per workshop.
Nutrition and Health Seminars for Parents
I also run a number of different nutrition and health seminars for parents.
Seminars are one or two hours (longer sessions can include cookery demonstrations or food tasting sessions) in duration and are often run over a parent evening/event.
Topics covered include:
Alva’s top tips for optimum health, energy and weight management
Creating a healthy food plate
Quick and easy to prepare nutritious family meals
Tasty lunch box fillers
“Ask the Nutritionist” Q&A Session
“I just wanted to say that I found your nutrition seminar really engaging and informative.
Your message was clear, concise, well-illustrated and straightforward. I often find nutrition-related communications to be confusingly multi-faceted, leaving me with the demoralised impression that I am poisoning all belonging to me! and may I say in talking to my junior and senior infants boys, the positive message you give (healthy foods give you energy and make you strong) is SO effective.
It’s a lot more tangible to them than ‘Your can’t have that, it’s rubbish!’ which is taken as me just rabbiting on, or ‘This will make u grow big and tall’, which is a remote concept that has no reality, in their terms.”