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You are here Parents School Policy on Healthy Eating

The school provides lunches free of cost to all pupils. The meals are supplied by the company FreshToday and are delivered daily in individually wrapped bags to the school.

Following consideration by the school's Board of Management during April 2013 the following are considered unsuitable for healthy lunches and are forbidden in the school :
Chewing gum
Crisps
All fizzy drinks including 'energy' drinks & sugary drinks
All chocolate, including chocolate biscuits, bars, muffins, chocolate spreads including Nutella, chocolate chip buns, chocolate corners attached to yoghurts
Marshmallows, sweets, jellies, Winders, lollipops, etc
Cereal bars, fruit shots
Biscuits, buns, cake
Croissants, doughnuts and other very high fat foods
Sausages & sausage rolls
All nuts (allergy problems) - no nuts or nut products of any kind are permitted in school. Please see our Nut Safe and Allergy Awareness Policy.

As Americans are rather fond of saying - you are what you eat. That's especially true for youngsters. You probably have seen recent reports in the newspapers and on television where one British school decided to put the old adage into practice and see how children's diets affected their academic performance. When school officials banned fizzy drinks and crisps, they found it resulted in better behaviour and better exam results! This isn't an earth-shattering idea. It was based on similar research done by Schoenthaler in New York nearly 20 years ago! In an experiment conducted using data from more than 800 low-achieving schools, he showed that reducing sugar, fats and additives in children's meals raised the exam results of students from 11% below the national average to 5% above it! That's a 16% improvement! Children worked better in school, were more co-operative at home and slept better at night!

Health experts have been saying for years that foods full of refined sugar and refined flour make it harder for children to function effectively in class. Children get an immediate rush as the sugar levels in their blood shoot up - and that's followed by a drop in their energy as the sugar levels begin to fall. And then their bodies start to produce adrenaline to stop their blood sugar levels falling too far, which makes them frazzled and edgy.

Fizzy drinks are worse! They're so packed full of sugar (the equivalent of approximately 10 to 15 sugar cubes in each bottle) that they produce emotional swings. And fizzy drinks also contain phosphorous, which lessens the amount of calcium a child absorbs from his food. This upsets the calcium balance in the brain. Calcium is vital, not only for healthy teeth and bones but also for enabling nerve cells in the brain to communicate with one another.

So why don’t families give their children healthy food for school if they know this? Many parents have contacted the school over the past years pleading for an end to the junk that children bring in their lunch boxes. Parents feel that their child will feel left out or even mocked if they are the only ones not to have junk food. Recently the Minister for Education Noel Dempsey TD stated that there was no rule which prevented schools from banning junk food.

The Board of Management, Parents Council, teachers and many individual parents all agree it is time to try something new. So, from next September the school will ban all junk food from the school. We do appreciate that it is easier and quicker to hand out bottles of orange, chocolate bars, biscuits and packets of crisps in the morning rather than having the job of planning the night before what your child will eat the next day. But isn’t it worthwhile?

No Junk Food. What does that mean?
No crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits, fizzy drinks, sweets or similar products.

Any suggestions for a healthy lunch?
Some schools have had a ban on junk food for over 20 years. What advice do they give?
Ensure your child gives some assistance in making his lunch – this is essential!
Vary lunches. Try something new.
Keep portions small.
Ensure children eat breakfast

Perhaps you will find something to suit your child from the following suggestions:

 Flask of vegetable soup
 Cheese cubes & plain/wholemeal crackers
 Small bunch of seedless grapes
 Popcorn
 Milk/fruit juice
 Yoghurt Drink
 Half a dozen cherry tomatoes
 Satsumas
 Yoghurt-covered raisins
 Box of raisins
 Slice of fruit brack
 Banana
 A fresh pear
 Sticks of raw carrot
 Drained pineapple chunks
 Wholemeal bread cut into small triangles - and filled with ham and cheese
 Fruit Yoghurt
 Fresh strawberries
 Unsweetened fruit juice
 Cheese cut into various shapes e.g. cubes, triangles, sticks, etc
 Small container of apple sauce
 Cream crackers with butter/cheese
 Dried apricots

Whatever people choose to eat at home is up to them, but with the co-operation of parents it is easy enough to implement a healthy eating policy in school. And if this would lead to better behaviour, increased learning power and an overall improvement in health, why on earth not try it?