HEALTHY EATING POLICY
Recent research has shown a huge increase in Type II Diabetes and heart disease among English teenagers. The statistics are frightening because these diseases are diseases of age rather then youth, and because all the evidence suggests that lifestyle is playing a huge part in contributing to this.
Increased obesity brought about by a lack of appropriate physical exercise and a high incidence of high-salt, high-sugar snack foods in the diet are the primary causes.
The school encourages physical activity and games, play and sport form a large part of your child’s time in school. As well as the normal PE programme, the school participates in inter-school programmes in hurling, football, camogie, athletics and more recently soccer. We are also through the support of Glenville and Watergrasshill GAA Clubs, involved in a coaching skills programme for classes first through to fourth.
In addition children are encouraged to actively play at break times, and the full limits of the school grounds are utilized in various activities.
As lunch is a key meal each day it should provide your children with lots of energy. It should also provide appropriate nutrition for your child. Make sure you don’t substitute core foods – like bread, dairy products or meat – with less nutritious foods. Some foods too as well as being of dubious benefit nutritionally, are unsuitable in a school context. Fizzy drinks, crisps (and the many similar snacks) and chocolate as well as being potentially unhealthy in excessive amounts, can make children hyperactive and inattentive in class. In addition many of these foods and drinks contribute to dental problems.
It is also indicated from research that water is the best drink for children in relation to concentration on schoolwork.
The purpose of the Lunch Policy is to give parents guidelines in relation to providing healthy lunches for their children. We have attempted to present it in a positive way by encouraging healthy foods. We have done this by classifying foods into three general types:
To Drink: Milk, Water, unsweetened fruit juice.
( Fresh water is available in the school)
To Eat: Sandwiches with meat, cheese, low fat spread.
Fruit, (apples, bananas, peaches, kiwis etc.,) carrot sticks,
Alternatives; Scones, pitta bread, crackers.
Less Healthy Options:
To Drink: Sweetened fruit juice, dilutable drinks, high sugar yogurt drinks.
To Eat: Jam in sandwiches, meat with high fat content, some spreads.
Alternative: Plain biscuits.
To Drink: Fizzy Drinks.
To Eat: Sweets, chocolate bars, cakes, crisps in their many forms, biscuits, nutella, and chewing gum.
These lists are not exclusive and are intended as general guidelines to assists parents in providing healthy and nutritious lunches for their children.
We are encouraging parents as much as possible to use choices form the healthy options list and not to include foods from the discouraged list.
In many ways it’s about balance. Ensure that your child has a lunch box that included some of each of the following:
Sandwiches or alternatives with meat or cheese or tuna filling.
Yogurt, milk or dairy choice,
A healthy drink
Given the level of physical activity engaged in by the children at break times it is also important to ensure that lunches are adequate to meet the energy needs of your child.
Parent’s support and co-operation is essential to make this policy work. Remember it’s in the interests of your children’s health.