The Grove School packed lunch and snacks in school policy
Dear parents and carers,
We have been working with the children over the last 6 months about healthy eating and how it can improve your concentration and mood. We have discussed the below at length, made some compromises and have finalised on the below as a recommendation from September. I do hope you will support the children in this plan.
Children who do not wish to have a school meal may bring a packed lunch. Please include food you know your child enjoys and check that you send an appropriate quantity as children can often bring far more than they can manage. We send lunch boxes home with all the cartons, wrappings and peel etc to help parents monitor how much their child is eating.
We recommend that packed lunches mirror the national school food standards to provide a balanced midday meal that should include:
- a (fist sized) carbohydrate portion for energy (such as a roll, bagel or pitta bread, a wrap or a potato, pasta, rice, rice cake, couscous or noodle salad) These starchy foods are important for children. They are filling and provide energy.
- protein (a palm sized portion of, for example meat, chicken, tinned fish, beans, hummus, egg or cheese) Growing children need the protein, iron and vitamins these foods provide.
- a dairy portion (eg size of two fingers of cheese, a cup of milk, fromage frais or yoghurt) The calcium and protein in this food group are needed for building strong bones and teeth.
- vegetables and fruit (like salad, carrots, celery, tomatoes or cucumber and all kinds of fresh or dried fruit) These foods provide fibre and vitamins which help to keep your child healthy.
- You could also give your child one of the following: Extras - fruit bread/ malt loaf/ banana cake/ plain fruit/ cheese scone etc
Some ideas on links here or search for yourself:
What are snacks for?
Snacks are meant to provide a boost of energy if a few hours pass between meals and blood glucose levels drop. They can help prevent overeating at the next meal by not being too ravenous and they can provide extra nutrients when choosing certain snacks like fresh fruit or nuts. SNACKS are not TREATS – this is something different and can be enjoyed every now and then as a treat – AT HOME.
SO… use some of the ideas for lunches to give your child a worthwhile snack and remember that chocolate, confectionary and highly processed fat and sugar content products are not recommended or encouraged. Manufactured food high in fat or sugar are NOT allowed eg sweets, chocolate bars etc. (unless for a specific medical need). Children who eat these at lunch can be lethargic and less focused for the afternoon and not be the best learners they can be. Home-made snacks, cakes, flapjacks etc can be allowed but please be cautious of overly fatty and sugary recipes or products. Here are some more ideas: https://www.healthycornwall.org.uk/media/qg4fq544/under-5-s-healthy-snacks-card_a5_web.pdf
Drinking water is provided by the school and the children can bring their own drinks bottle to fill up. - fizzy drinks (except fizzy plain water) and sugary drinks are not allowed. Children could bring in no-added-sugar or sugar-free juice, squash, cordials or flavoured water if they wish – the aim with liquids to stay hydrated is to drink smaller amounts regularly rather than guzzle down huge amounts once in a while.
Lunch boxes and drinks containers do need to be robust and clearly marked with your child’s name.
We don’t forbid allergenic foods in school such a nuts but we try to educate the children how to be allergy aware. The class teachers will let the children and parents know what allergies they may need to be aware of i.e. for airborne allergies but most allergies are caused when an item is ingested so we do not allow children to share food at school.