What people eat is known to be a key factor influencing health. Research indicates a strong link between diet and performance (e.g. a low sugar intake promotes concentration, lessens hyperactivity, protects teeth, and lessens the risk of diabetes. A low salt intake reduces the risk of heart disease in later life). To promote healthy eating habits in our school, we introduced a Health and Nutrition Policy in September 2004. This policy was formulated by the Health Promotion team along with school staff, parents and children.
Baltydaniel N.S. is a health promoting school and therefore we would endeavour to promote the health and well- being of our pupils.
Relationship to Characteristic Spirit of the School
Nutrition will be taught in the context of S.P.H.E., which is a core subject of the revised curriculum, seeking to promote the health and well being of our pupils by increasing knowledge about healthy eating.
- To improve nutrition standards in the school community.
- To increase knowledge and awareness of the benefits of healthy food.
- To promote food hygiene e.g. washing and drying of hands.
- Litter awareness and environmental awareness through our Green School Programme.
- To promote fitness through the Active Flag and P.E. Programme
- To enable the child to appreciate the importance of good nutrition for growing and developing and staying healthy
- To enable the child to accept some personal responsibility for making wise food choices and adopting a healthy, balanced diet.
Lunch is an important meal for school-going children. It should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance of nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or salt. It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage). It is school policy that each child has a healthy lunch in our school.
Food Items not allowed in school
Snacks known to be high in sugar, saturated fat, salt, additives and preservatives, including the following:
- Crisps (including crisp-style snacks)
- Fizzy drinks
- Chocolate/ biscuits
- Chewing gum
Nuts are banned throughout the school as a result of certain children’s severe allergies.
One small treat is allowed on Friday only.
Food is not used as a reward in our classrooms. We encourage alternative rewards. These include homework passes and other privileges. We also include social rewards which involve praise or thanks or simple gestures and other forms of recognition. Children can also be rewarded for certain achievements by their class teacher or principal by receiving trophies, certificates, announcements on the intercom, notes home to parents or photos on the local newspaper, facebook page, school notice boards and school website. Stickers and stars are used by teachers are also used as rewards in the classroom.
Children are educated in school about making healthy choices. Discussions include, following the journey of food from farm to fork and growing and eating. This is taught during SESE and SPHE classes. It is also emphasised during Healthy/Active Week in the summer months. Through our Green Schools Programme children learn how to grow their own fruit and vegetables.
Food and Celebrations
School is an ideal place to teach children that not all celebrations need to revolve around sugary treats. Fruit and water are often served during our celebration days instead of sugary treats. After our 5km fundraiser run we serve oranges and water, at our children’s table quiz we serve water as well as our Golf Classic and Friendship Week and outside school trips. Teachers sometimes give food treats on celebration and holiday days, which are to be eaten after school. We do not encourage parents to send treats or any others foods. This is due to children’s severe allergies and other health conditions.
Green School Policy
There is a policy of litter free lunches in the school for each day of the week.
Parents/guardians of any child with a medical condition which requires a special diet should contact the school office or principal.
Current Practices which Promote a Healthy School
- Healthy Lunch Box League to encourage healthy lunches in school
- Washing Hands
- Active/Health Awareness Week during the month of June
- Green Schools Travel Programme (WOW) and (COW)
- Active Flag Programme which encourages physical activity
- Friendship Week to encourage mental health and wellbeing
- Active Week
- Outside experts invited to visit our school such as dental hygienist, anti-bullying and mental health speaker and community garda
- 1 K a day run
- Food Dudes programme
- One Million Steps programme (HSE programme)
Roles and Responsibilities
- Whole school staff
- Health Promoting Team and Co-ordinator, Mrs Eleanor Cotter
From Sept 2019 children will eat their lunch in the classroom before going to the yard to play. Also the children will no longer be able to able to put food in the bin. This is to encourage the children to eat all the lunch which is provided but also to notified parents what lunch is being eaten. Children will no long be permitted to bring food to the yard which will encourage children to use the yard time for physical activity.
Implementation and Review
This policy was first implemented in September 2004. The health promoting co-ordinator Mrs. Cotter is responsible for reviewing this policy. It was reviewed in May 2017 and is due to be reviewed again in May 2019.
Ratification and Communication
It was ratified in June 2004 by the Board of Management and was communicated to the whole school community. The policy is now available on our school website for parents and any other interested parties to view.