In recent years, childhood obesity rates have increased very rapidly. Overweight children are more likely to develop serious health problems. Good nutrition is critical for every child’s health, including their cognitive development. Schools can play an integral role in supporting families to promote lifelong healthy eating habits.
Our school is committed to improve and protect the health and well-being of our students. Our aim is to make healthy eating and living an easy and informed choice for our pupils. The school strives to create an environment where physical activity and healthy eating are encouraged.
We believe that healthy eating habits learnt during childhood continue throughout life. Besides, healthy students are better able to concentrate on their work and perform better in class.
- We encourage parents to give their child simple, nutritious food. This should include fruit, vegetables, cereals, sandwiches. For reasons of hygiene, it is important to have a napkin to be placed on the desk before eating.
- Teachers expect children to eat all the lunch that parents send. Pupils are to take home all uneaten lunch so that parents know if the quantity they are sending is too large or if the child does not like a particular food.
- Water is recommended. Drinking water is available – there are three drinking fountains in the school yard; however children are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.
- Water bottles are allowed in class at all times.
- There is no tuck-shop within the school.
- Sweets, fruit juices, fizzy drinks, and salty snacks are not allowed. Children who bring such food will be instructed to take this food back home.
- Chewing gum is prohibited.
- We do not allow nuts because some children can be allergic to them, and small children may choke on them.
- Teachers should not give sweets as rewards to their pupils, except on rare occasions.
Children in the kindergarten classes are allowed to bring a cake on their birthday, however this should be plain, to avoid messes. Parents are also asked to provide paper napkins.
In order to promote healthy eating, teachers organize cooking demonstrations, and hands-on lessons, so that the pupils are encouraged to make wise choices. Lessons on healthy eating and healthy living are included in the curriculum, and during computer lessons certain websites with the specific aim of learning about nutrition in a fun way are accessed (some good sites include: www.nourishinteractive.com and www.kidnetic.com – where pupils learn more about fitness and nutrition through games, recipes and articles; www.kidshealth.org – where games and other resources help children to learn more about their bodies and how to stay healthy).
Concessions are given on special occasions, when sweets, juices, soft drinks and salty snacks are allowed. These include school outings, on World Children’s Day, and at parties. However these concessions are not valid for Concerts and Sports’ Day, when no food is allowed.
In addition to healthy eating, our school also promotes physical activity. We are convinced that combining a healthy diet with regular physical activity is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
During break-time all our pupils have the opportunity of participating in physical activity for at least 20 minutes on a daily basis. Moreover, the school offers a range of fun games and sports, as well as competitive physical activities during P.E. lessons. Moreover, every year, the school sets aside funds to purchase gym equipment to make physical activity as enjoyable as possible for our pupils.