Increasing concern is being expressed at a national level about the foods our children eat, especially in relation to the increasing levels of obesity in young children. Mengham Junior School wishes to promote healthy eating patterns out of a desire to improve children’s health but also as an aid to the improvement of learning, as clear links have been established between children’s eating habits and their ability to learn. For more information, use the Children’s food trust website https://www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk or try our link to HC3S
Providing a healthy eating environment
- The school will provide a clean, sociable environment, indoors and out, for the children to eat their lunch.
- All children are required to sit down at a table, or on a picnic blanket, for at least 10 minutes in order to have a drink and eat their lunch. Lunch time supervisory staff will note any children who cause concern. Parents will be contacted in these circumstances by the class teacher.
- The children are expected to leave the area where they have eaten their lunch in a clean and tidy condition.
Contents of meals provided by the school
Nutritional standards came into effect as of September 2008. All food served by Hampshire Caterers HC3S at break time and lunch time meet these standards.
The contents of children’s lunch boxes
There are currently no government regulations for the contents of pupils’ lunch boxes. However, following the introduction of the regulations for the content of school meals, the British Nutrition Foundation produced a set of guidelines recommending what should be included in children’s lunch boxes to provide them with a healthy meal.
- A good portion of starchy food e.g. wholegrain bap, thick slice of wholemeal bread, sesame pitta pocket, plain crackers, pasta or rice salad.
- Plenty of fruit and vegetables e.g. an apple, satsuma, handful of cherry tomatoes or carrot sticks, mini can of fruit chunks (preferably decanted into a plastic container), small box of raisins.
- A portion of milk or dairy food e.g. individual cheese portion, pot of yoghurt.
- A small portion of lean meat, fish or alternative e.g. 2 slices of ham, quorn, cheese, tuna, egg or hummous.
- A drink e.g. a small carton of fruit juice, bottle of water.
- One small packet of crisps, a fruit scone or a portion of malt loaf may also be included (in keeping with the Eatwell Plate model, which allows a small portion of sugary/fatty foods to be consumed each day).
In addition, the school requests parents not to include the following:
- Sweets (including Winders).
- Chocolate bars, doughnuts.
- Foods containing nuts (some pupils in the school have a severe allergic reaction to any contact with nuts).
- Fizzy/sugary/energy drinks.
Contents of children’s snacks
The children are allowed to bring in a fruit snack from home to be consumed during morning break. Drinks and snacks prepared by the school kitchen are also offered for sale at this time. In keeping with the Eat Well Guide, the school will offer only fruit, bread or low-sugar and low-fat biscuits for sale at break times.
Parents are required to ensure their child has a drinking bottle in school every day. This must only be filled with water. Children are encouraged to drink and fill up water bottles throughout the day. If a child has difficulties in drinking water throughout the day, parents should discuss this with our Home School Link Worker in order that the correct support be considered for their child. If a child does not have access to a water bottle, then parents will be contacted and asked to provide one.
The curriculum and healthy eating
As part of the work they do for Science, DT and for Personal, Development Learning (PDL), children will be taught about the components of a healthy diet and the importance of healthy eating both now and in the future.
Rewards for Good Mealtime Etiquette and Good Behaviour
To encourage good behaviour and good mealtime etiquette, a group of children are invited each week to sit at a special “Top Table” in the dining hall. In addition, “leaves” are given each day to children by lunchtime supervisors and celebrated in assembly.