HEALTHY EATING POLICY
The school aims to promote and support healthy eating and will endeavour to educate children and parents in good lunch choices and routines through the medium of the SPHE curriculum and in other initiatives which promote healthy eating.
In the endeavour to promote and support healthy eating the school is mindful of and respectful to the right of parents to make their own choices and therefore the Healthy Eating Policy is a series of recommendations and advice. Children will not be admonished or reprimanded for not following the recommendations made. There are however certain food and drink items that the school strongly urges parents not to include in lunchboxes for a variety of reasons, mainly nutritional. These will be listed in this document.
Scoil Cholmcille S.N.S. has two food breaks during the school day, at 10.30 – 10.40 a.m. and at 12.25 – 12.55 p.m. Children are permitted to eat at both these break times. The first break, which is the shorter of the two, children are permitted a small snack. This has unofficially been deemed a fruit break in school.
The second break at 12.25 is when the children eat the main portion of their lunch. They are given 15 minutes between 12.10 and 12.25 in which to consume their lunch.
The children’s lunchboxes should reflect the aims of the Healthy Eating Policy in as much as is possible. The children are taught the benefits of a balanced diet in SPHE and are aware of the importance of balancing the various different food groups through the food pyramid. The “five a day” intake of fruit and veg is also stressed to children. Below is a list of suggested options for lunchboxes. These have been provided by Paula Mee, who is a well known nutritionist and has appeared on the “Operation Transformation” programme on RTE.
• Day One: Small carton of milk
Peanut butter and banana sandwich
Pot of strawberry fromage frais
• Day Two: Flask of vegetable soup
Tuna and sweetcorn sandwich
Half a carrot sliced into sticks
Handful of seedless grapes
• Day Three: Small carton of unsweetened fruit juice
Roast beef slice and cucumber sandwich in a ciabatta roll
Bag of popcorn
• Day Four: Bottle of water
Cheese and tomato on wholegrain pitta bread
A pot of strawberry yogurt
• Day Five: Small bottle of fruit smoothie
Pitta bread filled with egg and salad/mixed salad leaves
Pot of probiotic yogurt
Sabrina Doyle is a founder of Nutritional Concepts a nutrition and dietary consulting service in the Carlow & Kilkenny area. She recently compiled a list of healthy packed lunch ideas. Below are some of her suggestions.
• Offer a variety of foods throughout the week. Kids get bored with having sandwiches every day. Try using the same fillings, but add excitement by changing the bread – pitta, bagels or tortilla wraps.
• Add colours and textures. Instead of a lettuce and tomato salad, try a pasta salad or potato salad. Cook and drain the pasta or potatoes and mix with a little mayonnaise or olive oil, then add some cut up vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots. You can also include some sliced turkey, chicken or ham. If you’re packing a traditional sandwich, try cutting the bread with fun shapes using a cookie cutter.
• Sometimes kids, especially younger ones, don’t like to eat a whole sandwich or bowl of food. Instead, prepare cut-
• Make sweet stuff, such as chocolate, biscuits and cakes, an occasional treat rather than everyday items.
Here is a suggested planner for one week of packed lunches.
Monday: Cooked rice with peas, carrot and cooked ham, dried fruit and unsweetened fruit
Tuesday: Humus sandwich, banana and unsweetened fruit juice
Wednesday: Wholemeal bread with cheese slices and tomato, one banana and sugar-
• Thursday: Pitta bread with cooked ham, low fat mayonnaise, lettuce and cucumber. Orange
segments and milk
• Friday: Burger bun with chicken, relish, lettuce, and grated carrot, dried fruit, yoghurt and
The school is very aware that budget can play a very important role in what can be provided for children and we do not intend to put undue pressure on families. These are as stated earlier a series of recommendations and choice is still the right of parents.
However there are certain items which the school recommends should not be included in lunchboxes. Fizzy drinks and sweetened fruit juices contain a lot of sugar which are harmful to diet and teeth. Crisps as a daily staple in lunchboxes adds unnecessary fat intake to a child’s diet. Chocolate treats on a daily basis also adds unnecessary fat and sugar to a child’s diet. The school does however promote the provision of a treat in the lunchbox on Friday. Similarly the inclusion of sweets in a lunchbox on a daily basis is not recommended.
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on the 23/9/11
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.