Healthy Eating Policy - Scoil Naomh Áine NS

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Healthy Eating Policy

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Scoil Naomh Áine, Rathgarogue, New Ross, Co. Wexford   
Healthy Eating Policy


Introduction
This Policy has been developed to further the promotion of Health in Scoil Naomh Áine. The existing policy was reviewed in April and May 2016 following collaboration with parents, pupils and staff. Research indicates a strong link between diet and performance. A healthy diet promotes concentration, protects teeth, lessens hyperactivity and reduces health risks such as obesity and other health related issues.
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 lives.

Rationale
As a Primary school we are encouraged by the Department of Education and Skills as well as the Department of Health to promote healthy eating amongst our pupils. We are asked to contribute to the realisation of a healthy active population and heightening the awareness of the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Recent research has highlighted disturbing trends including an increase in childhood obesity and diabetes. Therefore our policy and government guidelines are both timely and critical for the health and development of children.

Aims and objectives:
The aim of this policy is to:
• Promote nutritional awareness of the importance of a balanced diet
• Positively affect healthy eating among school age children
• Raise levels of concentration within classes through the consumption of healthy food
• Support long-term healthy eating habits in children by encouraging them to make wise choices
about food and nutrition

Guidelines
Definition:
A healthy lunch is one packed full of goodness. Children need a wide variety of foods to help them grow, learn and play. A healthy lunchbox is an important part of the school day. The food pyramid is a useful tool to help us ensure a healthy, balanced lunchbox. The following are the suggested servings for lunch as based on the food pyramid:

TOP SHELF Sparingly

MEAT, FISH & ALTERNATIVES 1 serving
MILK, CHEESE  YOGURT 1 serving
FRUIT & VEGETABLES 1 or more serving
BREAD, CEREALS & POTATOES 2 or more servings

Snacks for small break:
 Pots of yogurt – plain or fruit
 Plain rice cakes
 Breadsticks and crackers with hummus
 Cheese
 Fruit – apples, oranges, banana, kiwi, berries, grapes, melon, dried fruits, pineapple, grapefruit etc
 Chopped vegetables – carrots, celery, peppers, cucumber etc

Examples of healthy lunches – ideas for each of the food groups
Bread/cereals/potato group:
Sliced bread, wraps, rolls, pitta breads, tortillas, bagels, crackers, pasta, spaghetti, rice, rice cakes, bread sticks, oat cakes, cous cous

Fruit and vegetable group:
Vegetables cooked or raw e.g. cucumber, carrots, celery, peppers, hummus, broccoli
Salad vegetables e.g. lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sweet corn, spinach, salad leaves, coleslaw

Milk, cheese, yogurt:
Pots of yogurt – natural or fruit, cheese – slices, grated or cubed

Meat, fish and alternatives:
Sliced meats – ham, turkey, chicken, salami, tuna, salmon, egg,

Healthy drinks:
Water
Milk

Banned foods:
All nuts and nut containing products (due to students with serious allergies)
 Crisps
 Chocolate (in any form including chocolate spreads)
 Cereal bars
 Sweets – including winders
 Biscuits
 Chewing gum
 Fizzy drinks
 Tubes of yogurt
If children bring in any foods from the ‘banned list’ they will be asked to take them home.

Information to note:
Children are asked not to swop lunches.
We are trying to reduce the amount of waste in the school as we are a ‘Green School’ so we ask parents to please try and reduce the amount of packaging in your child’s lunch box or use re-usable packaging.
There is a total ban on nuts and nut products in the school due to serious allergies of some of our pupils. We ask you to be vigilant in the following:
 Avoid any type of nuts in school lunches
 Avoid peanut butter and spreads such as Nutella
 Nut based breads or any food containing nuts

Parents/guardians of any child with a medical condition which requires a special diet should ensure they inform the school in writing.

Promotion of physical activity:
In June 2015 we were awarded our Active Schools Flag for our work on becoming an active school.
Each year we now participate in Active schools week.
One teacher attended the ‘Health Promoting Schools’ training day in May 2016.

Success Criteria:
The school evaluates the success of the policy through;
a) Feedback from all staff
b) Feedback from parents and children
c) Evidence of positive and healthy attitudes towards food

Ratification and Review
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on the 21st June 2016 and will be implemented from September 2016. This policy will be reviewed in 3 years time.





 
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