Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara Healthy Eating Policy
Food and drink are an essential part of our daily lives. They play a fundamental role in the development of the human being and can contribute to fulfilling our physiological needs, and also contributes to our mental and emotional development.
As young people spend such a large part of their life in school it is imperative that we educate, support and create a sense of responsibility around food, nutrition and making good choices.
Here at Bunscoil Buachaillí Réalt na Mara we are taking a holistic approach to our healthy eating policy and believe that being supported by the whole school community including staff, parents and students will lead to a greater sense of ownership and success.
Health and Nutrition form the basis for long, healthy, happy lives and with increasing rates of childhood obesity we felt now was the time to make proactive changes to our school environment. We feel it is our duty to educate and empower our students to develop healthy habits for life!
Research has proven good nutrition not only leads to good health and consequently less absentee days, but also concentration and behaviour levels as well as self-esteem.
Our Policy is being created in line with the Department of Health Promotion’s Healthy Food for Life Campaign (launched 2016).
It also forms part of our educational curriculum through subjects like SPHE, SESE and PE and we aim to promote nutrition awareness and positively affect healthy food and drink choices within the school community.
Aims & Objectives
The overall aims of Healthy Eating Policy :
• In line with our school ethos this healthy eating policy will contribute to the personal development and well-being of the child.
• It aims to help pupils establish a healthy lifestyle for life by educating them on facts around food and nutrition in line with the new Department of Health Promotion’s Healthy Food for Life Campaign.
• This policy aims to encourage parents and children to think critically about healthy eating, experience a wide variety of foods and make healthy food choices at each meal.
• An important aim this policy is to enable the child appreciate the importance of good nutrition and fitness as a foundation for healthy living for life.
• This policy aims to promote the importance of encouraging and praising positive behaviour when small, sustainable changes are evident.
• In order to support a foundation for healthy living this policy aims to help students develop an appreciation for the importance of good nutrition and fitness and to accept responsibility for making good food choices.
• As a by-product of healthy eating this policy aims to improve overall health and wellness, concentration, behaviour and attendance at school.
This policy will strive to help ensure the safety of children with allergies.
“What is Healthy Food?”
The Committee will work within national recommendations for healthy eating focusing particularly on the following recommendations:
1. Enjoy a wide variety of foods from the five food groups.
2. Find enjoyable ways to be physically active everyday – balancing your food intake with active living will help protect you against disease and prevent weight gain.
3. Keep an eye on your serving sizes – choose smaller serving sizes and add plenty of vegetables, salad and fruit.
4. Plain wholemeal breads, cereals, potatoes, pasta and rice provide the best calories for a healthy weight.
5. Eat plenty of different coloured vegetables, salad and fruit – at least five a day.
6. Drink plenty of water.
These are some of the guidelines possible as part of the Healthy Eating Policy:
• Teachers will provide positive modelling and supportive attitudes.
• A healthy lunch box includes a piece of food from the first four shelves of the food pyramid:
Small Break/Fruit Break: apples, bananas, blueberries, carrot, cucumber sticks.
Whole grains:brown bread, brown pasta
Dairy:milk, cheese, yogurt
Protein: chicken, hummus, tuna, cheese
Milk/Water are the most tooth-friendly drinks
• Foods not allowed in school:
Chocolate, sweets, lollipops
Biscuits, pastries, doughnuts
Cereal Bars, Winders
High Sugar Yogurts
• We cannot have cake in the for children’s birthdays
• Exceptions to the rule are allowed for special occasions ( set out by the school / teacher).
• Foods that have wrappers are to be kept to a minimum and disposed of properly to reduce litter and protect our environment. Try to use recyclable and reusable containers and not items like tinfoil, glass and cans. Children are encouraged to take their food wrappers home.
• Any uneaten food will be sent home in lunchboxes.
Considerations of the Healthy Eating Policy
• It is expected all parents will support the Healthy Eating Policy in every way possible. If a child brings a food which is deemed unacceptable, it will be returned to the child at the end of the day and sent home to the parent.
• It is the obligation of the parent/guardian to inform the school office of any special dietary requirements or allergies pertaining to their child.
Promotion of the Healthy Eating Policy
Throughout the year there will be a number of ways to promote the healthy eating policy:
• ‘Fruit/Vegetable Break’ will be encouraged at Small Break
• Healthy Eating and Wellness Week/Month including Active Homework
• Healthy Eating Awards at Assembly
• Healthy Eating Displays around the school
• Cross - curricular activities each term to promote a holistic positive approach to good food and nutrition.
• Continually modelling, monitoring and positive reinforcement by teachers and staff.
• Promotional Materials pertaining to the new 2016 Healthy Food for Life ( new food pyramid) will be evident around the school
Roles & Responsibilities
Role of Parents:
• The support the ethos and guidelines of the healthy eating policy
• Provide healthy, well balanced lunch for children in accordance with the guidelines and monitor child’s eating habits at school.
• Provide lunches in an “environmentally friendly” manner as possible.
• Inform the school of any special dietary requirements or allergies.
Role of Children:
• Try new foods, keep hydrated and make time to eat their lunch
• Have a positive attitude to the healthy eating policy and be responsible for their own actions.
• Help make their lunch at home and remind busy parents to follow the guidelines of the policy.
Role of School:
● Be the positive role model and support to the whole school community in relation to the healthy eating policy.
● Monitor and observe the adherence to the policy.
● Continually review and adapt the policy to best suit the needs of the school community.
● Engage with a holistic, cross curricular approach to the healthy eating policy.
This Policy was reviewed November 2017
Signature of Principal:
Signature of Chairperson of BOM