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Healthy Eating Policy

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St. Colman's N.S.,
Ph: 044 9223452 cappaghns.ias@eircom.net

Healthy School Policy 2012/13
Date of policy: November 2012

A.C.E. Team
Staff Members: Maria Geraghty (Co-ordinator), Lorna Egan, Mary Casey
Parent: Angela McGee
Pupils: Third to Sixth Class pupils; Aisling Scally, Laura Conneely, Aoibhe Flynn, Conor Brennan.

A holistic and healthy environment is essential for maintaining and protecting children's health, for ensuring they perform to their full potential during the school day (both academically and physically) and for good dental health, mental health and optimal in growth and development.

Our aim is to help the students develop a healthy lifestyle that, we hope, will continue into adulthood.

Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

  • Helps young people develop, grow and do well in school
  • Encourages the development of self esteem and a sense of self-worth
  • Prevents childhood and adolescent health problems such as obesity, eating disorders, tooth decay and anaemia
  • May help prevent health problems in later life, including heart disease
  • Developing good eating habits at a young age is vital as changing patterns in adulthood can be very difficult.

Healthy Lunches Policy
A healthy diet is one that allows for a balance of different foods that sustain the wellbeing of the individual. Different lifestyles result in different dietary needs and individuals need to be aware of the effects of different foods on their bodies.
In St. Colman's N.S. we are implementing a healthy lunch policy to encourage the children to have a suitably balanced diet.

  • The following foods may be included in lunches/snacks: Sandwiches, fruit and vegetables, yoghurt, cheese, soup and crackers.
  • To drink: Water and milk.
  • Foods high in fat, salt, and sugar, are strongly discouraged during school.
  • From Monday to Thursday fizzy drinks, crisps, sweets, chocolate or chocolate biscuits are strongly discouraged in school.
  • One fun size bar or small bag of sweets will be allowed on Friday (fizzy drinks discouraged on all days).
  • Foods with artificial additives or high sugar content, i.e. cereal bars, fruit roll ups, etc will be discouraged. Chewing gum is strictly forbidden.

Pupils are encouraged to drink water during the day. Apart from one fun size bar or sweets on Fridays any other sweets will only be consumed on special occasions or party days.
Lunchtime is a "priority time" within the school. All pupils sit at their desks for around ten minutes to eat their lunch and then go out to the yard for playtime. This will ensure each child eats his/ her lunch and will help teachers monitor lunches.

Physical Activity
Every child will be enabled to achieve a minimum of 30 minutes physical activity each day. Playground games will be encouraged by the teacher demonstrating and explaining some yard games and rules. In fine weather the children will be encouraged to play in the field.
One hour of physical education will be provided each week. These lessons will be given by class teachers or other suitably trained and qualified staff. The qualifications of coaches and facilitators will be checked prior to lessons.
The school will provide physical and social environments that encourage and enable physical activity in a safe setting: Adult supervision, teaching in safe methods, safe facilities and the use of protective equipment are all components of a safe environment for physical activity.
The School promotes sport and physical activity by providing information on sports clubs and physical activity opportunities within the community via written notices.

Dental Health
Dental Health and disease prevention is important so children are encouraged to drink water during the school day. We acknowledge the importance of brushing twice a day and lessons will be taught in each class on dental health to encourage good dental care and hygiene. Tooth-friendly drinks, i.e. milk and water are the only beverages permitted during the school day.

Mental Health
The school recognises the importance of mental health and how it is an integral component of general health and well-being, allowing a person to fully realise his/her abilities.
The School promotes mental health education and has an anti-bullying policy in place which is enforced and which pupils are aware of. There will a "Worry Box" in each classroom where pupils can discreetly express any concerns. A Friendship Umbrella will be painted on a wall in the school yard by a local artist. The Friendship Umbrella will explained to the children i.e. stand near it if you need a friend to play with.

To help highlight the awareness of healthy lifestyles the following will take place:

  • Teachers and children will discuss healthy eating and physical activity each term.
  • During the year all classes will be taught lessons from the A.C.E. lesson books which are health related and curriculum based.
  • Our healthy school policy will be displayed where it is clearly visible to teachers, students and parents.
  • Teachers will provide positive modelling and supportive attitudes to encourage healthy eating.
  • All pupils have the opportunity to learn to grow fruits and vegetables, and these lessons are linked with food/ nutrition classes.
  • Prioritise lunchtime (children will have ten minutes to eat lunch)
  • All children will be encouraged to participate in plenty of physical activity.
  • Staff members will be encouraged to attend in-service courses and to participate in other forms of continuous professional development appropriate to their needs.
  • A "Sports for All" day will be held in the final term, which will emphasise participation rather than winning.
  • Teachers will promote a positive attitude towards healthy eating and will offer plenty of praise for healthy lunches.
  • The A.C.E. committee consisting of three teachers, four pupils and one parent will remain active and organise events each year to promote healthy lifestyles.
  • Each class organise a "Worry Box".

Success Criteria
Interest displayed by pupils and healthy lunches

Timeframe for Implementation
November 2012 - Ongoing

Responsibility and Communication
The policy was ratified at the B.O.M. meeting on the 27/11/12.
Parents will be informed of developments via notes home, school events etc. We aspire to review this policy annually.
This policy is displayed on the school website.

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