Healthy Eating Policy
As part of the Social, Personal, Health Education (SPHE) programme, at Donoughmore National School we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes. As part of our Health Promoting School Initiative, we decided to review the Healthy Eating Policy in our school. Eating habits throughout life are established at a young age.
Therefore learning to choose and enjoy different foods in childhood provides the foundation for healthy food choices in adulthood.
To promote healthy eating habits in our school we have reviewed and relaunching our Healthy Eating Policy starting from November 2016.
Aims of Policy
- to support families in their efforts to foster healthy eating habit.
- to promote lifelong healthy eating habits.
- to promote nutrition awareness i.e. ingredients in all foods but especially snack foods and sugary soft drinks.
- to enable the child to accept some personal responsibility for making wise food choices and adopting a healthy balanced diet.
- to support school environmental policy – Reduce, Re use, Recycle i.e. bringing drinks in re usable bottles, minimising wrappers etc.
- to minimise with the ultimate aim of eliminating ‘junk food’ by increasing consumption of healthier options.
Research suggests that nutritious food enhances:
- childs health – ensuring healthy body, shiny hair, strong bones, good teeth, beautiful skin.
- childs concentration and attention levels to support academic performance
- energy levels leading to improved physical activities performance i.e. sports / games.
Lunch is an important meal for school going children. It should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance of nutrients without containing unhealthy fats, sugar or salt. It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage).
The traditional packed lunch of milk and sandwiches is under attack from a range of convenience foods like crisps, sweets, biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks. Parents, teachers and pupils are concerned about this trend but some find it difficult to come up with popular healthy alternatives. We ask you to encourage a healthy lunch right from the start.
Lunch Box to include
Bread & Alternatives
- Bread, bagels, rolls – preferably wholemeal/wholegrain
- Pitta pockets
- Rice Cakes
- Potato Salad
- Pasta – preferably wholewheat
- Wholemeal scones
- Bread Sticks
- Oat Cakes
- Lean Meat
- Seeds – sunflower/pumpkin etc
- Tinned fish eg tuna, sardines
Fruit & Vegetables
- Apples, Banana, Peach, Kiwi
- Mandarins, Orange segments
- Fruit salad, raisins, sultanas, dried apricots, Blueberries, Blackberries
- Plum, Pineapple cubes, Grapes
- Cucumber, Sweetcorn, Mushrooms
- Tomato, Coleslaw, Green leafy vegetables, Carrot / Celery Sticks
- Unsweetened pure fruit juice (not from concentrate is best)
- Milk – whole milk
- Water (maybe with a slice of lemon, lime, cucumber, mint)
A Word about Milk
Growing children should get approximately one pint of milk a day, or its equivalent as cheese, yoghurt or milk pudding. This ensures that they get enough calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. If a child does not drink a glass of milk at lunch, encourage him/her to have a carton of yoghurt or a small helping of cheese or green leafy vegetables.
Possible dairy alternatives – Almond milk or Coconut milk if supplemented with calcium and vitamin D.
Above are suggestions, let us know your favourite healthy options.
What not to bring
We ask that children do not bring the following to school:
Snacks known to be high in sugar, unhealthy fats, salt additives and preservatives including the following; Fizzy Drinks, Fruit Winders, Taytos, Chocolate, Chewing Gum, Popcorn (healthy but as an after school option) Sweets, Lollipops and Muffins.
Cereal Bars & Yoghurt
Most cereal bars and yoghurt, although advertised as healthy, have a high sugar content, often as much as 40%. We would encourage parents to read the label and choose healthy options of both.
Green Flag School
Our Green School Motto is ‘Keep it green, keep it clean’
With this in mind, children are also asked to;-
- take home in lunchbox – all uneaten food and containers
- put only fruit peel into the compost bins.
NB Parents / guardians of any child with a medical condition which requires a special diet should contact the school.
Treats acceptable on Special School Occasions.
This policy will be reviewed on a yearly basis.