As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.) programme at St. Declans, we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes. In addition, the Physical Education programme supports the physical development and fitness of the children. The Science curriculum also looks at the development of the body and deepens the children's understanding of how the body grows and develops. In addition to these programmes, St. Declans has a 'Healthy Living Week' each year when the importance of a healthy approach to eating and physical exercise is promoted across the whole school community through a variety of class and school activities .

Aims of this policy are:

  • To promote the personal development and well-being of the child.
  • To promote the health of the child and provide a foundation for healthy living in all its aspects.
  • 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).  In our school the children eat twice a day, before going out to play. To ensure good concentration it is important for children to drink lots of water, so please encourage your child to bring a bottle of water.

A Word About Milk

Growing children should get approximately one pint of milk a day. This ensures that they get enough calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
We provide milk free of charge to the pupils in our school. Milk is a rich source of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. If you child wishes to have milk in school please fill out the Milk Order Form in September.

The Healthy Lunch Guidelines

Children in each class were asked to discuss what they thought should be in a healthy lunch. From these discussions and from input by parents at home the following guidelines emerged.

What is a healthy lunch?
• It is full of goodness like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and calcium.            
• Contains food with no sugar, because too much sugar is bad for your teeth.
• Contains no colouring or additives.
• Gives us strength and energy
• Makes us fit and healthy
• Helps our brain power

What could be in a healthy lunch?

• Sandwiches or rolls with cheese, meat, fish or salad.
• Pitta bread, crackers
• Fruit (peeled and chopped for small children)
• Raisins
• Vegetables (washed and chopped))
• Pasta
• Salad
• Sugar free Yoghurt

What should not be in a healthy lunch?
• Crisps, salted nuts or popcorn (unless home-made and salt free)
• Chocolate, sweets, lollipops or jellies
• Chewing gum
• Cake, biscuits, pastries or doughnuts
• Chocolate spread
• Fizzy drinks
• Flavoured milk

What drinks could we include in a healthy lunch?
• Water
• Diluted sugar free juice drinks
• Milk
• Smoothies

What drinks should not be allowed?
• Fizzy drinks
• Sugary drinks
• Hot drinks (in case we spill them)

Who should make sure everyone follows the rules?

• Our parents, because they make our lunch and should set a good example. They are responsible for our health.
• We should, because it's our health and we want to be fit and full of energy.
• Teachers, because they can see what's in our lunch boxes and know who's eating the right foods everyday.
• The Principal

What should we do when children bring in foods not allowed?

• The children bring the food/drink home in their lunch box.
Should we make exceptions for special occasions?
• Yes, for treats after communion or confirmation
• Yes, for end of term parties

The children of St. Declan's are very keen to have healthy lunches and show a good understanding of what that means. We hope these guidelines will assist everybody in making healthy choices.