Healthy Lunch Policy

Healthy Lunch Policy

Rationale

As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.) Programme we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes.  As PETNS is a new school it is important to start the healthy eating programme from the very beginning.

Aims:

  • To promote the personal development and well-being of the child.
  • To promote the health the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects.
    • To enable the child to appreciate the importance of good nutrition for growing and developing and staying healthy.
    • To enable the child to accept some personal responsibility for making wise food choices and adopting a healthy balanced diet.
    • Responsibility lies with parents to ensure that their child comes to school with a healthy lunch.
    • The role of the teacher is to educate the children through the new curriculum on what healthy eating entails.
    • The role of the child is to bring home the message of healthy eating.

Objectives:

Roles and responsibilities

Policy Content

At the beginning of each new year, the class teacher outlines the school policy on healthy eating to the class.

The class teacher reinforces these guidelines on a regular basis through class discussions and the teaching of the curriculum.

Communication of the policy and regular updates will be given to the whole school body by the principal through NET News and through the website.

Background

Nutrition is an incredibly important part of life for school-going children. Lunches should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or salt. It should also provide dietary fibre and then (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 and teachers are concerned about this trend but some find it difficult to come up with healthy alternatives.  We ask you to encourage a healthy lunch right from the start.

Nutritional guidelines

The following guide is designed to help you provide quick, appetising and nutritious lunches for your children.

Breads and alternatives

Bread or rolls, preferably wholemeal

Rice – wholegrain

Pasta – wholegrain

Potato salad

Wholemeal scones

Pitta breads

Savouries

Lean meat

Chicken/Turkey

Tinned Fish e.g. tuna sardines

Cheese

Quiche

Pizza

Fruit and Veg

Apples, bananas, peach, mandarins, Orange, Fruit salad, dried fruit

Plum, Pineapple cubes, grapes, cucumber, sweetcorn, tomato, coleslaw

Drinks

Water

Fruit juices

Squashes i.e. low sugar

Yoghurt

Milk

Food Pyramid

A very simple approach to healthy eating is to use the Food Pyramid:

Fats/sugar/sweets                                  Sparingly

Meat, fish, peas and beans                 2 portions per day

Milk, cheese, yoghurt                            3 portions per day

Fruit and Veg                                             5+ portions per day

Bread, cereal, potatoes

Class / School Procedures

Fruit and water

The children are allowed to have drinks on the tables at all times.  They are encouraged to drink as much water as they like throughout the day.

A teacher can choose to either allow the children to have fruit on their table all day where they have access to them all day or they can choose to have a time of day (apart from break time) where the children are encouraged to eat the fruit they have brought in.

Foods not allowed in school:

  • Crisps
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Chewing gum
  • Lollipops

Parallel Procedures

  • Individual class guidelines on healthy eating  and treats on Friday are regularly delivered.
  • Curriculum areas such as SPHE and SESE are used to reinforce instructions.
  • Integration with other areas of the curriculum such as visual arts is encouraged .

Success Criteria

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the policy will be conducted through:

  • Continual observation
  • Reduction in the number of children bringing in sweets and non-healthy snacks during the week.
  • Increased awareness among the children of healthy eating issues.
  • End of year review and recommendations.
Date of Creation March   2008
Date of Last Review January 2010
Ratified by BOM February 2010
Next Review January 2012