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Healthy Eating
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Healthy Eating

Good nutrition is essential for children to grow properly, do their best in school and be healthy and happy in the future.

Schools must take a 'whole school approach' to all the food and drink that is provided and consumed in school and develop children and young people's skills and knowledge in relation to healthy eating and lifestyles outside of school.

We recognise our role in influencing the eating habits of young children whilst in school. A healthy menu that encourages the children to eat the right food will certainly help them to continue a healthy pattern as they grow up.

School catering is involved in promoting a healthier diet across all services, these include:

  • Breakfast clubs
  • Healthy breaks
  • Compliance with nutritional standards for school lunches
  • Water in schools

Nutritional Standards

When the school catering service provides lunches they must keep to rules, known as ‘the standards’, that have been set out about what types of food to provide, and how often. Nutritional standards for school meals and other food in schools are based on the five food groups in the Eatwell Guide.

School Food - Eatwell Guide

A Healthy Diet for Children

For children aged five and over a healthy diet broadly means:

  • a balanced diet with plenty of variety and enough energy for growth and development;
  • plenty of starchy (carbohydrate-containing) foods such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes, choosing wholegrain or higher fibre versions where possible;
  • plenty of fruit and vegetables;
  • moderate amounts of milk products;
  • moderate amounts of meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein;
  • limited amounts of foods containing a lot of fat, especially saturated fat;
  • limited amounts of sugary foods and drinks occasionally
  • regular drinks to avoid becoming dehydrated and tried, choosing lower sugar options such as water and low fat milk

The Eatwell guide does not apply to children under two years of age because they have different nutritional needs. Between the ages of two and five, however, there should be a gradual transition to a healthy diet.

Further Information

For further information on nutritional standards for school food please click on the links below.

SERVICES & INFORMATION

The Education and Library Boards (ELBs) were dissolved on 31 March 2015. The Education Authority was established on 01 April 2015 and is now responsible for all of the operational functions previously carried out by the five ELBs in accordance with the Education Orders.

40 Academy Street, Belfast, BT1 2NQ
Email: info@eani.org.uk