Healthy Eating Policy

Introduction

This policy was formulated after consultation with the staff of Lucan East ETNS. The focus of this policy is to support parents and staff members in relation to encouraging healthy eating habits among students from an early age. Practical suggestions are included. This policy is linked to;

 

  • SPHE; Taking Care of My Body – Food and Nutrition and Making Choices
  • Science; Myself- Human Life Processes

 

Objectives

  • To help children and parents make healthy food choices
  • To improve the children’s concentration and energy levels
  • To develop an awareness of nutrition

 

The children have two breaks at which they eat their lunches. It is hoped that the children will be encouraged to try various healthy options and eventually find some that they like to eat by observing the variety of fruit and vegetables being consumed around them by their peers.

 

Lunches

Suggestions for lunches include the following and would ideally include a piece of food from the four main shelves of the Food Pyramid;

  • Sandwiches (preferably wholegrain/whole-wheat)
  • Filled rolls (preferably wholegrain/whole-wheat)
  • Wraps, pitta breads, bagels
  • Crackers and cheese (try to avoid pre-packaged ones)
  • Fruit or vegetables
  • Pasta, spaghetti or rice in small containers
  • Slices, cubes of chopped meat, chicken, fish or hard-boiled eggs.

 

Snacks

Suggestions for healthy snacks include the following; 

Fruit

  • Any whole piece of fruit such as an apple, pear, banana or orange
  • A bowl of chopped fruit such as pineapple cubes, melon pieces etc
  • A bowl/pack of dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricots etc.
  • It is important that all foods are made easy for infants to eat and open.

Vegetables

  • Chopped peppers, carrots, celery sticks, cucumber etc.
  • Baby tomatoes or other whole baby vegetables

 

Drinks

It is important that children take in enough fluids during the day. If children do not drink enough water, they may become dehydrated, thirsty, and tired. Recent studies have shown that children who are dehydrated are less able to concentrate. Therefore, we would recommend that every child bring a drink of water to school each day.

Tooth friendly drinks are encouraged;

  • Water
  • Milk

 

Sugar

We strongly discourage foods that have high sugar contents.

The following foods are not permitted; Fizzy drinks, crisps, chewing gum, sweets, chocolate bars, chocolate/icing covered cakes/bars/biscuits.

Exemptions

Children will be allowed to have a treat day at end of term (at teacher’s discretion).

 

Nut Allergies

There is a ban on nuts due to serious allergies of some of our pupils.

 

Breakfast

A nourishing breakfast is a good start to a child’s day and gives them the energy they need to concentrate, learn and participate fully in school activities. Therefore we would encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast before coming to school. Extra pieces are provided in Carambola lunches should children need something to eat when they arrive in school.

 

Hygiene

The importance of food hygiene and safety when preparing and eating lunches will be promoted. Children must bring a small towel to school every day for drying their hands after washing.

 

Environment

Pupils will be encouraged to reduce litter produced by packed lunches through the promotion of using re-sealable bottles instead of cartons or re-usable airtight containers rather than disposable wrappings. All packaging used in Carambola lunches is recyclable.

A large percentage of school waste is composed of organic material (e.g. fruit and vegetable peelings). Pupils will use special compost bins to dispose of organic material. This compost will be used as soil conditioner or surface mulch to help maintain our school garden. Any packaging left over from a child’s lunch will be brought home for disposal. Uneaten lunch will be sent home so that parents can monitor how much their child is eating.

 

Birthdays/Parties

Children are made to feel special on their birthday by the school community in a variety of ways. However, we do not permit party bags, cakes or sweets. Distributing these disrupts teaching and learning time throughout the year. Staff cannot be responsible for handing out party invites.