Healthy Eating Policy

We encourage a healthy, balance diet to form good habits

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Aims

  • 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.

Rationale

  • What people eat is known to be a key factor influencing health. Research indicates a strong link between diet and performance (e.g. A low sugar intake promotes concentration, lessens hyperactivity, protects teeth, and lessens the risk of diabetes. A low salt intake reduces the risk of heart disease in later life).
  • Children form their eating habits for life from an early age. A good diet and plenty of sleep, fresh air and exercise are essential to the growing child.
  • We ask parents to allow plenty of time in the morning for a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is perhaps the most important meal of the day. Not only does breakfast break the child’s long overnight fast and help concentration, it also lays down the foundation for healthy eating for the rest of the day.
  • Lunch is an important meal for school-going children. It should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance of nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or salt. It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage).
  • Children’s lunches sometimes tend to be low in fibre and high in fat and sugar. The food pyramid will offer a guide for a healthy and varied diet for your child. Sandwiches and fruit are healthier than sweets and biscuits. Check with your child that he/she has the right amount to eat.

A very simple approach to healthy eating is to use the Food Pyramid. The following guide is designed to help you provide quick, appetising, and nutritious lunches for your children:

Bread & Alternatives

  • Bread or rolls, preferably wholemeal
  • Rice – wholegrain
  • Pasta – wholegrain
  • Potato Salad
  • Wholemeal Scones
  • Bread sticks
  • Pitta bread

Savouries

  • Lean Meat
  • Chicken/Turkey
  • Tinned Fish e.g. tuna/sardines
  • Chese
  • Quiche
  • Pizza

Fruit & Vegetables

  • Apples, Banana, Peach,

    Mandarins, Orange segments,

    Fruit Salad, dried fruit,

    Plum, Pineapple cubes,

    Grapes (cut lengthways),

    Cucumber, Sweetcorn,

    Tomato, peppers, Coleslaw.

Drinks

  • Water (highly recommended)
  • Fruit juices

  • Squashes, i.e. low sugar

  • Yoghurt

  • Milk

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 instead. However, we ask you to be extremely careful when packing milk and milk products in your child’s lunchbox, as spillages of these items often create a great mess and can be very costly as books etc may have to be replaced.

Healthy lunch suggestions are available from Food & Nutrition Guidelines for Primary Schools on www.healthinfo.ie

We ask that children do not bring the following to school:

Snacks known to be high in sugar, saturated fat, salt, additives and/or preservatives

  • Crisps (including crisp-style snacks)
  • Popcorn
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Sweets
  • Chewing gum
  • Chocolate biscuits/bars
  • Cereal bars

Due to the incidence of severe allergy to peanuts and mixed nuts amongst some pupils, and also the danger of choking, we ask you to never send in

  • Peanuts or any other type of nut.

To encourage independence, we ask you to choose lunch boxes children can open and close easily. Children should be able to manage food as well, e.g. oranges should be peeled at home and children should be able to open/ close all other wrapping themselves. Children should not bring in cans and glass – for safety reasons. We discourage pupils from swapping or sharing lunches.

Promotion of the policy

All members of staff promote this policy through regular verbal reminders and good example to the children.

If children bring” discouraged” food/drinks to school they will be allowed to eat/drink them on that one occasion, but asked not to bring them on other days. If they persist in bringing unhealthy food to school, the teacher will remind the parents/guardians of the school’s healthy eating policy. If after a further period of

time there is still no improvement, the principal will seek a meeting with the parents/guardians to discuss the importance of a healthy lunch on a daily basis. Every effort will be made to support the parents/guardians to support their child(ren).

Exceptions are allowed for:

  • End of term parties
  • School trips
  • Occasional rewards given by the teachers or the principal

Treat Day

Friday will be our treat day. On this day, children can include one very small food item that is not normally recommended as part of a healthy lunch.

Green Flag School

As a result of our efforts to reduce litter and waste in our school environment, we have just been awarded our first green flag. With this in mind, children are asked to:

  • take home (in lunchbox) all uneaten food, silver paper, wrappings, containers and cartons
  • put only fruit peel into the compost bins
  • not bring in cans and glass – for safety reasons.

N.B. Parents/guardians of any child with a food allergy or a medical condition which requires a special diet should contact the school.

Ratification, communication and review

Following consultation with all of the school partners, this policy was ratified at a Board of Management meeting on 31st May 2022. It will be explained fully to all children, by the class teachers, at the start of every school term. It will be available to parents and the wider school community both in the school and on the school website. It will be communicated to staff by email, and also saved on the staff server.

It will be reviewed every two years, or sooner if requested by any member of the school community.

Signed:

Chairperson BOM

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