Healthy Eating Information
At Tredworth Junior School, we aim to educate our children with the skills, knowledge and understanding to enable them to make healthy lifestyle choices. To do that effectively we need to work in partnership with parents and carers in securing the best for every child.
- To ensure children have a suitable mid-morning snack that sustains them during morning learning.
- To ensure children have a suitable midday meal that sustains and prepares them for afternoon learning.
- To provide a safe, healthy and appealing eating environment for pupils during mid-morning snack time and for those bringing in a packed lunch.
- To ensure that free, fresh drinking water is available at all times.
- To help children develop an understanding of healthy eating.
- To promote the School Food Trust guidelines and national standards of Healthy Eating. www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk/childrens-food-trust/schools
- To support parents and carers in providing a healthy mid-morning snack and a healthy packed lunch that meets the same standards as food provided in school dinners and abide by the regulations of the British Nutrition Foundation. www.nutrition.org.uk
If the right foods are offered at the right times, snacks can play an important role in managing children’s hunger and boosting nutrition. A well-timed snack can even out spikes in hunger and provide a much-needed energy boost between meals.
Snacks can keep children from getting so hungry that they become irritable and unable to concentrate whilst supplementing the main meals in providing the required nutrients for a child to function throughout the school day.
The best snacks are nutritious — low in sugar, fat, and salt. Fresh fruit and vegetables and foods that contain whole grains and protein are considered to be the best choices.
Fruits and Vegetables
As a school, we would like the majority of mid-morning snacks to be fruit and vegetables to help children to eat the recommended five servings of this food group each day.
Eating fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. In addition they contain fibre and Vitamins A and C, which can help build a stronger immune system.
We will remind parents and carers that although many believe fruits and vegetables are costly snacks, they can be sourced at a lower price than many other less-healthy alternatives.
As well as fresh fruit, dried fruit (raisins, apricots, pineapple, papaya) also contain vital nutrients with little or no added sugars.
Smoothies can also be an excellent nutritional option if made from fresh fruit blended with yoghurt or milk. It should be noted that many store-made smoothies have high added sugar content and consequently would not be as healthy.
Raw vegetables would also be encouraged as they contain vital vitamins and are low in sugar and fat. Broccoli, Carrot Sticks, Celery, Cucumber, Peppers and Tomatoes would be options throughout the week.
Though many children eat plenty of grain products, many of these grains are biscuits, snack cakes and cereals that are high in sugars or fat. Children should be encouraged to eat mostly whole grains, which provide more fibre, vitamins and minerals that refined grains and have significantly less saturated fat than in common potato based snacks e.g. crisps.
Dry whole grain cereals like Cheerios, Wheaties etc. make good snacks. When sourcing cereals it is recommended to look at the sugar content and try to provide less than 35% sugar by weight (No more than 8g of sugar per serving).
Whole grain crackers and granola bars are also a snack option but care should be taken when looking at the sugar content.
Dairy foods are an excellent source of Calcium, which can help build strong bones and promote growth in children. However, dairy products are also the highest contributing group towards saturated fat intake within children. Consequently to help develop children’s bones and hearts it is advised to source low fat or fat free dairy options.
Water should be the main drink served at snack times. It satisfies thirst, does not contain sugar and will be provided free by the school.
Milk provides key nutrients, such as calcium and Vitamin D. Fat free or low fat (1%) are the advised options with specific consideration to be taken over flavoured chocolate and strawberry milk drinks, which can contain up to 1/3 of a days recommended intake of saturated fat.
Children who drink a higher percentage of more sweetened drinks e.g. juice drinks, regular squash, sports drinks and carbonated drinks are consuming a high levels of sugar, contributing to dental cavities, tooth decay and imbalanced blood sugars, which increase the chances of diabetes.
- Crisps, chocolate bars/biscuits, sweets and Fizzy/Sugary drinks should not be part of a child’s mid-morning snack.
Recommended contents of a Healthy Lunchbox.
- A portion of high starch carbohydrate based food e.g. bread (sandwich)
Crackers, pasta or rice salad.
- Fruit and/or vegetables e.g. an apple, an orange, banana, carrot sticks, raisins or any other fruit of vegetable.
- A portion of milk or dairy food e.g. yoghurt.
- A drink – a small carton of 100% juice, low fat milk or no added sugar squash. Fresh water will be available for all pupils.
- One small biscuit e.g. kit-kat, penguin, club or individual cake bar, which is the equivalent of a school meal desert.
- An individual pack of low fat crisps or snacks can also form part of the lunch box although parents are advised to look at the saturated fat content before making a choice.
- Chocolate bars, sweets and Fizzy drinks should not be part of a child’s lunch box.
The school fully respect individual parent’s food choices for their children and understand that there are many different needs and tastes. The school are committed to working alongside parents to educate our children about healthy dietary choices so that the children through the understanding of a balanced diet will develop a greater appreciation of a healthy lifestyle.