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Healthy Eating Policy

Bunscoil Bhríde, Rathangan, Co. Kildare

Healthy Eating Policy

October 2017

As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) Programme at Bunscoil Bhríde we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes.

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).

To promote healthy eating habits in our school, we introduced a healthy eating policy starting from September 2012.

 Aims

  1. To promote the personal development and well-being of the child
  2. To promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects.

 Objectives

  1. To enable the child to appreciate the importance of good nutrition for growing and developing and staying healthy
  2. To enable the child to accept some personal responsibility for making wise food choices and adopting a healthy, balanced diet.

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).

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 popular healthy alternatives. We ask you to encourage a healthy lunch right from the start.

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

Bread & Alternatives                                                     Savouries

Bread or rolls, preferably wholemeal                            Lean Meat

Rice – wholegrain                                                          Chicken/Turkey

Pasta – wholegrain                                                        Tinned Fish e.g. tuna/sardines           

Wholemeal Scones                                                        Cheese

Pitta bread                                                                     Yoghurt

Bread sticks                                                                   Potato Salad

Crackers                                                                                   

Fruit & Vegetables                                                      Drinks

Apples, Banana, Peach                                                  Milk                            

Mandarins, Orange segments,                                       Water

Fruit Salad, dried fruit,                                                 Squashes, i.e. low sugar (diluted drinks)

Plum, Pineapple cubes                                                  

Grapes,

Cucumber, Sweetcorn

Tomato

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

Snacks known to be high in sugar, saturated fat, salt, additives and preservatives, including the following:

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

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

Green Flag School

Our green school motto is:

‘GET GREEN, KEEP GREEN, MAKE IT INTO A REGULAR ROUTINE!’

With this in mind, children are also asked to:

  • take home (in lunchbox) all uneaten food, containers and cartons
  • not use tin-foil or cling-film to wrap lunches (these are not recyclable)
  • put only fruit peel into the compost bins
  • not bring in cans and glass – for safety reasons
  • use reusable bottles for drinks when possible.

So as to take a proactive approach to healthy lunches, teachers will from time to time, reward children who can show a piece of fruit or other healthy foods in their lunchboxes.

Allergies in our school: Because we currently have children in the school who have a severe nut allergy, nuts and nut products e.g. Nutella and nut butters are strictly prohibited.

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

This policy was reviewed by the teachers and Parents’ Association of Bunscoil Bhríde and ratified by the Board of Management in September 2012. It is regularly reviewed every three years or as the need arises.