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.
'Healthy Food for Healthy Outcomes - Food in Schools Policy', a joint Department of Education and Department of Health document, draws together a number of existing strategies that are being put in place to deliver improved nutrition for our school children.
The policy introduces a “whole school” approach to food in schools, so that children and young people receive a consistent message not only in what they are taught in the classroom about healthy eating, but also in the food that is available to them in the canteen, vending machines and tuckshops within their school.
All schools must:
- Adopt a whole‑school approach to food and nutrition.
- Comply fully with the Nutritional Standards for School Lunches and the Nutritional Standards for Other Food and Drinks in Schools.
- Ensure that pupils have easy access at all times to free, fresh drinking water.
- Provide for education in the curriculum in relation to nutrition and healthy eating from foundation stage until key stage 4 (i.e. during compulsory education).
- Provide education in Home Economics to all pupils at key stage 3 (i.e. in post‑primary years 8 - 10) and opportunities to explore ways to develop a healthy diet and to develop practical skills in the safe, hygienic, healthy and creative use of food.