This document sits in conjunction with Healthy Schools, Child Protection, PSHE policy, Inclusion Policy and Nutrition Policy.
Nutrition is a significant factor in the growth, development and overall functioning of a child. Good nutrition provides the energy and nutrients essential to sustain life and promotes physical, emotional and cognitive development. The development of healthy eating practices and physical activity can prevent disease and support a lifetime of good health. Good nutrition is critical to optimizing each child’s potential for success. Meeting nutritional requirements throughout childhood is essential to full intellectual development. Research documents tell us that under nutrition impacts on children’s behaviour, performance and overall quality of development. Children require sufficient energy and essential nutrients each day to concentrate on accomplished learning tasks. Even mild and under nutrition and short term hunger are barriers to learning. Meals and snacks served should meet children’s nutrition needs, provide models of healthy eating patterns, and help children establish good eating patterns at an early age.
Aim To work in partnership with families and other professionals to support children in developing healthy eating practices which will become embedded for life.
The Importance of Nutrition for Children
A nutritionally balanced diet is important in childhood to ensure optimum development at a time of rapid growth. A balanced diet in childhood is not only important for growth but for learning and promoting positive habits towards healthy eating. An inadequate or unbalanced nutritional intake may not only affect growth and development in childhood but may also impact on health problems, such as heart disease and obesity in later in life. It is the types and varieties of food eaten at this time that ensure nutrient requirements are met and that the diet is nutritionally balanced. Children’s diet must include an appropriate intake of foods from the four main food groups:
The eat well plate highlights the different types of food that make up our diet, and shows the proportions we should eat them in to have a healthy, balanced diet.
Eat breakfast every day
Eat fruit and vegetables daily
Choose snacks that will provide nutrients to compliment meals
Avoid snacks and drinks with a high sugar content between meals
Drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated
Be physically active every day
Brush teeth twice a day and visit your dentist regularly
Food and drink
All snacks and meals provided at the school are nutritious, avoiding large quantities of sugar, salt, saturated fats, additives, preservatives and colourings. Menus are planned in advanced and food offered is fresh, wholesome and balanced. We offer a balance and variety of snacks to provide a range of nutritious experiences for the children.
The children also have Nutrition lessons where they are taught:
Availability of water
Special dietary needs and food allergies
We are sensitive to the catering needs of children with specific dietary needs, including religious considerations. Parents are asked about any special dietary requirements their child has before they start school. Parents of children who have special diets (for example a gluten-free diet) or who have food intolerances are responsible for providing the school with information about their diet and choices available to the child. We update our records regularly. Menus will be carefully planned and adapted accordingly.
The kitchen facilities at the school are inspected on an annual basis in relation to the Food Safety Act. The school adheres to the recommended guidelines and good practices for the preparation and storage of food. Staff directly involved in cooking and the preparation of food, including Nutrition teachers, in the school, have successfully completed a Food Hygiene Course.
Meals can be times of pleasant social sharing. Opportunities for pupils, teachers and parents to eat and drink together are organised, providing an opportunity for children to learn good social skills and behaviour associated with eating and drinking. This also enables staff to monitor healthy eating. Staff keep a discreet eye on those who appear not to be eating well and positive encouragement and peer support is used to encourage poor eaters to make healthy choices. Healthy eating suggestions from parents that will help us expand and improve our selection of recipe ideas are very welcome.
Special theme days
At Powers Hall Academy special theme days are organised that provide a valuable opportunity for children to experience diversity from a wide range of cultures and nationalities and the contribution they make to the variety of foods eaten in Britain today.
Special celebrations or fundraising events
Throughout the school year Powers Hall Academy holds a variety of fundraising and special celebrations during which ‘treat foods’ available for children. As a school we feel this balances the rigour of the healthy eating policy in place at all other times.
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