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Thomas Harding
Junior School

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Thomas Harding

Healthy Schools

Thomas Harding achieved 'Healthy Schools' status in April 2008. We encourage the child to lead a healthy lifestyle by eating healthily, respecting one another and by taking regular exercise.

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How Healthy Is Your Lunchbox?

As part of our Healthy Schools programme, we are encouraging all pupils to eat healthily, but most importantly, to bring a healthy lunchbox to school.

Snacks:

Pupils are encouraged to eat a piece of fruit or a vegetable as a healthy snack at morning break time and to drink water throughout the day. 

Lunchtime Arrangements:

  • The children are encouraged to remember table manners and to eat sensibly and quietly in their seats.
  • We ask the children to wash their hands before sitting down to lunch.
  • They are encouraged to eat all their lunch and return anything they have not eaten to you.
  • We will endeavour to let you know if they are not eating enough.
  • Children are politely asked to avoid fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate bars.

Top Tips for a Healthy Lunchbox

“90% of children’s packed lunches contain too much fat, sugar and salt, but small changes can make a big difference.” (NHS website)

Here are our Ten Top Tips to a healthier lunchbox:

  • Make sandwiches with thickly sliced bread, or choose rolls or pitta breads. Go for wholegrain or wholemeal varieties where you can.
  • Cut down on the amount of butter and margarine you use in sandwiches.
  • Pick low-fat sandwich fillings such as ham, turkey, fish, cottage cheese or even sliced banana.
  • As well as fresh fruit, include a handful of grapes, a small fresh fruit salad or a box of raisins.
  • Go for unsweetened fruit juice, water, flavoured water, milk and yoghurt drinks.
  • Cut down on crisps, which are high in fat, and choose plain popcorn, pretzels, unsalted nuts or dried fruit.
  • Replace cakes, chocolates and biscuits with scones, currant buns and fruit bread.
  • Try to include some vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery and peppers.
  • Put some salad in your sandwiches. Once a week, why not go for a mixed salad instead of a sandwich.
  • You can still eat chocolate and sweets! Just make sure they are occasional treats.

Why make healthy eating changes?

Healthy lunches and snacks are important for active children. Eating healthy food helps children concentrate and learn. Recent research has also shown that improving diet can actually alter and improve behaviour. Healthy eating changes are not always easy to make. Try to set a good example with your own lunches. Encourage children to be involved in preparing their own lunch and choosing the foods to include.

The key to a healthy lunchbox is to include a balance of foods from the four main food groups:

  1. Breads and cereals
  2. Fruit and vegetables
  3. Meat and alternatives
  4. Milk and dairy products

Foods in the fifth food group, containing fat and sugar, should be eaten in moderation.

A packed lunch should provide a range of nutrients for children.

Including a wide variety of foods in a lunchbox will provide this range of nutrients and prevent children becoming bored with the same foods. Most importantly, children should look forward to and enjoy their packed lunch in school. Kids can take a while to get used to food changes, so praise them when they try new foods and save unhealthier foods for occasional treats.

Suggestions for Lunch boxes

Below are some healthy lunchbox suggestions:

Ham and tomato soft brown roll
Portion of grapes
Mousse / yoghurt
Carton of fruit juice

Tuna and sweetcorn salad
Currant bun / fruit slice
Apple
Milk / water

Cheese and salad wholemeal bread sandwich
1 packet reduced fat crisps
Banana
Bottle flavoured water

3 crackers with low-fat cheese
1 flapjack
4 cherry tomatoes
Yoghurt
No-added-sugar squash

The Foods Standards Agency has carefully put together four weeks of lunch box suggestions, which are nutritionally balanced over each week. Check out the website: www.food.gov.uk

 

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