Healthy food and eating
Healthy Food and drink at St. Joseph's School
We have been learning about different food groups and the nutritional value in different types of food. We have learned about 'a balanced diet' and looked at the 'New Eatwell Guide'. We have been surprised at how much sugar some food and drinks contain. We are going to work hard to improve our diet by including a variety of foods. This will help us keep healthy.
Some children like to bring a packed lunch to school. This must include a piece of fruit or some vegetables. Families are encouraged to provide a balanced meal. Sweets and chocolate bars are not allowed.
Through school assemblies, lessons and a whole school focus we have now improved our lunchboxes. Previously, approximately 33% of school brought a packed lunch to school. This has now reduced to 20%, as more children are choosing a school meal. Through consultation with parents, advice leaflets etc all children now bring a packed lunch with a piece of fruit or vegetable. The varieties of food and nutritional values in the lunchboxes has increased greatly.
Views from pupils:
'I love having crunchy carrot sticks'
'I have yoghurt today-this gives me calcium'
'I never tried peppers before but now it's one of my favourite snacks'
'My lunchbox will help keep me healthy'
St. Joseph's children are enjoying their healthy snacks at break. We have seen some amazing varieties of fruit and vegetables including sliced cucumber and carrot sticks, mini tomatoes, chopped fruit, kiwi etc. All snacks brought into school are to be fresh or dried fruit and vegetables. Toast, chopped fruit and crumpets are able to be purchased from our school cook.
Now over 75% of children eat a portion of fruit or vegetable each morning break.
School Food Plan
The School Food Plan is an agreed plan published in July 2013 with the support of the Secretary of State for Education and of the diverse organisations who can support head teachers to improve the quality and take-up of school food and put the kitchen at the heart of school life. The plan outlines how schools should improve their attitude to school food by :- Adopting a ‘whole-school approach’: integrating food into the life of the school: treating the dining hall as the hub of the school, where children and staff can eat together; lunch as part of the school day; the cooks as important staff members; and food as part of a rounded education. The head teacher leads the change, concentrating on the things children care about: good food, attractive environment, social life, price and brand. School encourages take up of school meals to improve school food economics and in particular encourage take up of the new Universal Free School Meals for all KS1 from September 2014 .
Our School Dinners in Key Stage One
Mrs Wood sent a questionnaire to families in KS1 to gather information about why some children did not want to access free school dinners. Through discussions with individual families and encouragement from staff and other pupils, 95% of KS1 children now take up a free school meal daily. Some children still continue to bring a packed lunch in case they don't like the meal on that day. We are all very proud of the children trying new flavours and enjoying new meals with their friends.
Our new school cutlery and equipment
Previously, we used to eat our school diners on trays. We asked the children in Key stage 2 for feedback about these.
Some comments were:
'I don't like the trays because your dinner can spill into your pudding'
'At home we eat off separate plates, where in school we don't. I'd like separate plates.'
'The trays are a bit like prison plates!'
Mrs Wood liaised with the catering group at LCC and gathered costings to purchase new equipment. The samples were brought into school to show the children. A vote took place which resulted in an unanimous decision to request new plates. Mrs Wood consulted the school budget and an order was placed! Since new equipment has been used, we have seen an increase in pupils in KS2 opting to purchase a school meal. All children use the new equipment and enjoy their school dinner.
'We love our new plates'
'Our new plates are much better. Your food doesn't mix together.'
'The new equipment makes school diners much nicer.'
'I feel grown up getting my own equipment.'
The school was visited by Warburtons who ran a workshop on healthy eating. The children discovered how bread is produced at the Warburtons bakeries and they were challenged to create a healthy and colourful sandwich using a variety of fresh ingredients.