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Greenfield Primary School

Imagine, Believe, Succeed

Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating:

 

(This is written using the guidance from the British Nutrition Foundation)

 

The importance of a healthy and varied diet...
Healthy eating is important for everyone, especially children, to ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need to grow and develop. Eating well and being physically active will improve your children’s health as well as their ability to learn and achieve at school. Encouraging your children to eat healthily now will make them more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle as they get older. 

 

What does healthy eating mean in practice?


In practice, eating healthily means encouraging you children to:

  • Enjoy their food – this will establish positive lifelong attitudes towards eating. Getting children involved in shopping and cooking and making mealtimes fun can develop their interest in food and healthy eating.
  • Eat a balanced diet consisting of a mixture of different foods – foods contain different nutrients so children eating a varied diet are more likely to be getting all the nutrients they need.
  • Eat plenty of starchy foods – such as breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, couscous and plantains. These should be the main sources of energy for children making up about a third of their diet. Try to provide at least one starchy food at every meal.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables – five or more servings a day are recommended for good health. For children, one serving is roughly the amount that fits into the palm of their hand. Raw, fresh, dried, canned and frozen all count.
  • Eat moderate amounts of meat, fish and alternatives such as beans, lentils, nuts or soya products – provide at least one portion with each meal.
  • Eat moderate amounts of milk and dairy products – lower fat versions (e.g. of cheese, milk and yogurt) contain as much calcium and are often a good choice.
  • Not eat too many foods that contain a lot of fat – such as fried foods, pastries, pies, crisps, biscuits, chocolate, butter and other spreads, oil and mayonnaise. Look for lower fat options and opt for baking or grilling rather than frying.
  • Not eat snacks or drinks that contain a lot of sugar too often – as this can damage teeth and may fill children up so they are not hungry at mealtimes.
  • Cut back on salt – there is no need to add salt to children’s food. Check the labels if you are buying processed foods and choose those with less salt (sodium)

 

The need for a healthy breakfast

Breakfast is important to top up children’s energy stores for the morning’s activities. Children who eat a healthy breakfast are less likely to snack on foods that are high in fat and/or sugar later on and tend to concentrate and perform better at school.

Healthier drinks
The best drinks between meals are milk and water as these do not harm teeth. Drinks that contain sugar (e.g. fruit squash, flavoured milk, fruit juice, carbonated drinks) are best kept to mealtimes. Regular visits to the dentist and brushing teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste will help keep children’s teeth healthy. Carbonated drinks are not permitted in school. Water is the drink of choice!


Healthier snacks
Snack foods, such as cakes, biscuits, crisps, chocolate and sweets, can be high in fat and/or sugar and should make up a relatively small part of the diet. These are kept to a minimum in school. Snacks should complement other meals, so select healthier options by thinking about the foods that your children eat at mealtimes. Ideas for healthier snacks for children: Fruit (e.g. bananas, grapes, strawberries), Vegetables (e.g. baby carrots, cherry tomatoes)

At Greenfield we have a NO NUT policy as some of our children have an intolerance. This covers all biscuit/bars and sandwich spreads.

 

Do children need a vitamin supplement?
A varied and balanced diet will provide all the vitamins and minerals that children need. 


Encouraging physical activity
Being physically active will help children to stay healthy and fit. Encourage them to participate in a wide variety of activities such as cycling, skateboarding, walking, swimming and dancing.

 

Healthy hot lunches in school

Our school meal provider is AIP. All food is pre-ordered through a local high school and there is a good variety-including Vegetarian options. 

 

Packed lunches

Your child may prefer a packed lunch. Here is some guidance on what to put in a healthy lunch box-from NHS choices:

 

School meals are a great choice for your child, but if you choose to make a packed lunch for them instead here are some tips for preparing a healthier lunchbox.

What to include in your child's lunchbox

A healthier lunchbox should:

  • be based on starchy carbohydrates (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta)
  • include fresh fruit and vegetables/salad
  • include a source of protein such as beans and pulses, eggs, fish, meat, cheese (or dairy alternative)
  • include a side dish such as a low-fat and lower-sugar yoghurt (or dairy alternative), tea cake, fruit bread, plain rice/corn cakes, homemade plain popcorn, sugar-free jelly
  • include a drink such as water, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, sugar-free or no-added-sugar drinks

The Eatwell Guide shows you how to have a healthy balanced diet and can help you decide what to put in your child's lunchbox.

Find healthy lunchbox ideas at Change4Life.

 

Healthier breaktime snacks

Children often like food they can eat with their fingers. Try these ideas:

  • Chop up raw veggies – such as carrots or peppers, and give them hummus or cottage cheese to dip the veggies in.
  • Chop up fruit – such as apple, satsuma segments, strawberries, blueberries, halved grapes or melon slices. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop them from going brown.

Dried fruit is not recommended as a snack between meals as it's high in sugar and can be bad for teeth, but it's OK when eaten as part of a meal.

 

Try these ideas for healthy food swaps.

 

More healthy lunchbox tips

It may take a while for your child to get used to a healthier lunchbox but keep trying. These tips may help:

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