HEALTHY EATING POLICY
We, at Castleknock N.S, acknowledge that what people eat is known to be one of the key factors influencing the long term health of school children and staff. The school day provides the opportunity for having at least one of the daily meals within the school. Food is often a feature of school celebrations e.g. birthdays.
The SPHE and Science curriculum provide an opportunity to learn and explore about food and healthy lifestyles. Through these guidelines Castleknock N.S aims to help all those involved in our school community, e.g. children, staff and parents in developing positive and responsible attitudes to eating and to appreciate the contribution that good food makes to health.
We approach our healthy eating policy with the knowledge that childrens tastes differ and it is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that his/ her child eats healthily at all times, including during school activities. We request that parents would consider the following:
- Parents should ensure that children have a balanced breakfast to help them learn and concentrate better in school.
- A healthy lunchbox includes a helping of food from the bottom four shelves of the food pyramid. (The latest version of the food pyramid is available on the safe foods website)A meal planner and lunchbox ideas are available at http://www.safefood.eu/Publications/Consumer-info/Healthy-lunchboxes.aspx
- Some of the healthy snacks that we encourage include fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, standard yoghurts (non dessert), plain rice cakes and crackers.
- Water will be made available throughout the day/ Pupils are encouraged to bring a bottle of water to school. If children do not drink enough water, they may become dehydrated, thirsty, tired and weak.
- Pure unsweetened juices or well diluted sugar free squashes (1 part squash: 8 parts water) may be included but only as part of children’s main lunch meal.
- Chocolate spreads, chocolate/cheese dips and chewy /sticky bars, sweets, chewing gum, nuts, crisps and fizzy drinks are not permitted. In keeping with the Green Schools Initiative, which addresses reducing litter and hence protecting the school environment, foods which have wrappers are to be kept to a minimum and disposed of properly.
- When refreshments are provided at school-related events, the school may provide healthy choices i.e. Fruit and water at Sports Day.
- Sweet treats for birthdays such as cakes and buns, may be brought into school. For the duration of the Covid pandemic, only individually wrapped treats are permitted.
- Nutrition & healthy eating will be included as part of the school curriculum.
- Teachers and staff will promote and support positive attitudes to encourage healthy eating including providing non-food related rewards.
In Castleknock N.S. two breaks are timetabled. Children are given a period of time to eat their lunch before or after going out to the yard. Desks are sanitised before and after eating. Pupils must sit at their desks while eating. This is necessary in terms of good etiquette and to minimise spillage. Children are not permitted to exchange food items. Left-over food is sent home in lunch boxes.
The ‘Healthy Eating Guidelines’ will be reviewed every two years and the policy will be visibly displayed in the school.
We have introduced ‘The Lunchbag’ lunch delivery service to school for the 2021-22 school year. This gives parents the option to order lunch directly to school, at a reasonable cost on a daily basis. At the end of the school year we will review this and continue it if there is demand.
Thank you to our parents and pupils who generally bring delicious and healthy food to school, well done.
Reviewed: November 2021.