At Scoil Bhríde we recognise the importance of a healthy lifestyle and diet. A healthy diet is essential for maintaining and protecting children’s health, for ensuring they perform to their full potential during the school day (both academically and physically) and for their growth and development. Our aim is to help them establish a healthy lifestyle that will continue into adulthood.
BENEFITS OF HEALTHY EATING
- Helps young people develop, grow and do well in school.
- Prevents childhood and adolescent health problems, such as obesity, eating disorders, tooth decay and anaemia.
- May help prevent health problems later in life
- Establishing healthy eating habits at a young age is critical because changing poor eating patterns in adulthood can be difficult.
- Sitting down to lunch/meals with other children is an important part of a child’s social education. Break time allows children chat and talk while eating.
To ensure a balance diet, foods from each of the following food groups should be included in meals:
- Bread, cereal and potatoes
- Fruit and vegetables
- Milk and dairy foods
- Meat, fish and alternatives
- Small amounts of foods containing fat and sugar
A healthy diet is one that allows for a balance of different foods that sustain the well-being of the individual. Different lifestyles result in different needs and individuals need to be aware of these and the effects of different foods on their bodies. A healthy balanced diet may vary between individuals from different cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds.
Only balanced lunches/snacks are to be eaten during the day. We try to encourage healthy foods only in school.
The following are suggestions of what can be given to children for their lunches:
- Fruit such as apples, bananas, pears, oranges, grapes, melon wedges, strawberries, blueberries, peaches etc
- vegetables such as carrot slices, cucumbers, snap peas, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, pepper slices etc.
- Brown bread, pitta bread, rolls, sandwiches, crackers
- a slice of lean meat, hard boiled eggs, a slice of cheese, portion of previous day’s dinner etc.
The following are not allowed in school
- Fizzy drinks,
- sweets, chocolate or chocolate spreads.
- Foods with artificial additives or high sugar content are not encouraged
- Chewing gum is strictly forbidden.
- Nuts due to allergies
- We don’t encourage yoghurt from a mess point of view.
Pupils are encouraged to drink water during the day. Drinking water is available in the yard. Pupils are encouraged to have reusable water containers. Treats are an important part of a healthy eating plan. Party days happen from time to time, celebrating end of term or an occasion in the class/school. Sweets can be given occasionally by teachers as part of a range of little treats and rewards/prizes in the classroom.
Important There are lots of food marketed and labelled as ‘healthy’ and ‘ideal for lunch boxes’ that may not be the best to give to your child.
We discourage the following:
Cereal bars – Many of these bars contain up to 40% sugar and 30% fat. Sugar eaten in these bars tends to stick to teeth causing maximum damage.
Cheese strings – These and similar foods tend to be highly processed and contain large amounts of salt and saturated fats. One single serving may contain the recommended daily amount of salt for a child.
Flavoured yoghurts – The once healthy yoghurt often contains large amounts of sugar and often comes attached to a pack of confectionary to stir in.
Fruit Juice Drinks – Pure fruit juice contains 100% fruit juice as you would expect. However, a ‘fruit juice drink’ may contain as little as 6% juice. Many of these drinks are really only juice flavoured sugary water and contain more water and sugar than actual ‘fruit juice’.
Packaging – Green Schools
In line with green schools and reducing waste, we guide pupils to try cutting down on needless packaging and encourage the use of a lunch box. We use a compost bin in school and pupils are asked to take home lunch litter.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PUPILS:
- Recognise that most of us need to eat more fruit, vegetables, cereals, bread and less sugar, salt and fat.
- Eat our snacks/lunch in the classroom. Take our time and waste no food.
- Bring all lunch waste home in a lunchbox.
- Participate in the recycling programme “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle”.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF TEACHERS:
- Through the curriculum, increase pupil’s knowledge, understanding and attitudes towards healthy eating. Healthy eating is explicitly addressed within the SPHE programme, P.E. programme and the Science programme.
- Work together to help each other take responsibility for our own health and to adopt health-enhancing attitude and behaviours.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS:
- Support the school’s healthy eating policy by providing balanced lunches/snacks for their children.
- Ensure your children have water or milk drinks with their lunch.
- Reduce the amount of waste created by your child’s lunch/snacks by using a lunchbox and re-usable bottles.
- Ask your children to participate in the recycling programme promoted by the school.
- Encourage your children to participate in out of school activities.
Our key message to the pupils is, enjoy your food. Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups each day. Do not skip meals.
Should your child for medical reasons not to be able to adhere to any aspect of our Healthy Eating Policy, please contact the school in confidence.
document should be read in conjunction with the Code of Discipline/behaviour
and all other relevant school policies. This policy will be reviewed and
adapted as necessary.