Dania School Lunch & Drinks in School Policy
Created: January 2013 Approved by Board: June 2018 Next Review: April 2019
Aims of Dania food policy
- to ensure that all children have access to healthy food in school, to support their performance in school and improve their concentration
- to encourage children to make balanced and informed choices with regard to food and drink
- to make parents aware of the eating and drinking regime at the school, so that they can take this into account when preparing packed lunches, and when planning the other meals of the day
Food and drinks at Dania
Every day at Dania, there is a lunch break of around 30 minutes and two snack times (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), each of around 15 minutes. Children may only eat at other times, if they are allowed by an adult, who consider it helpful for the child´s performance. Water is freely available in jugs in the classroom for the children at all times of the day.
At lunchtime, children sit at tables in the classroom to eat their packed lunches. The children are not permitted to share their food with the other children. During lunchtime, a member of staff supervises the children and eats at tables with them. The aim is to encourage eating and drinking. Meanwhile the staff member will read a story or put on an audio book for the children to focus on eating instead of talking.
Children should be provided with food, which they can open and eat on their own. For example, if the child is not able to peel a satsuma, it should be provided in segments in a suitable container. Similarly, the child should only be given yoghurts in pots, which they can open. If the child needs cutlery, the school can provide that. Any food, which is not eaten, will be returned in the lunchbox, so that parents can adjust the amount of food accordingly.
At each snack time, the school provides water, and children may bring an appropriate healthy snack.
For those children who stay at the afterschool club, water and a healthy snack (fruits and freshly baked bread) is provided by the school.
Contents of the lunchbox
We encourage parents to provide a healthy and balanced meal for their child at lunchtime. The following items are not permitted in lunchboxes:
- fizzy drinks, and other sweetened drinks (fruit juices are fine)
- confectionery (e.g. sweets, chewing gum, chocolate bars, chocolate spread)
- cakes, cookies and sweet buscuits
- Custard and other desserts
Birthdays, celebration days and events
Children may bring in a cake (and candles) to share with their class on their birthday. Since we are a nut free school, the cake must not contain nuts. Each child will be offered a slice of birthday cake, so if you do not wish your child to have cake, please let the school know. No other birthday sweets or biscuits please! On certain celebration days (e.g. to celebrate Christmas or Chinese New Year), the school may propose alternative or additional arrangements for food. Parents will be given advance notice of such special days. Likewise, the school may encourage the children to cook items in line with certain cultural events such as Bafi and Eid or chocolate nests for Easter.
Please provide the school with written notice of any faith restrictions, clinical conditions or allergies, which impose dietary restrictions for your child.
Food safety and hygiene
All children are taken to the washroom by staff, to wash their hands prior to lunchtime and snack time. Lunchboxes are stored in the fridge before lunch. Please bear in mind that food, which is returned in the lunchbox at the end of the day, has been out of the fridge for half a school day and should be disposed of accordingly. The school has facilities for food to be heated or microwaved at the school. The school will not be responsible in the event of an accident involving hot food/liquids from thermos flasks.
Dania’s Food tips:
Children love dipping so to encourage them to eat raw vegetables, put in carrot sticks or cucumber, and a small pot of dip, such as houmous or tzatziki; or else include a pot of yoghurt mixed with honey or jam as a dip for fruit (slices of apple or mango etc).
Ideas for sandwiches: cheese, ham, salami, peanut butter, egg, tuna, smoked salmon, hummus. You can also try pitta bread pockets or fajita style wraps for a bit of variety.
Ideas for hot lunches: soup, pasta with sauce, risotto, baked beans (or whatever is leftover from your dinner the night before!).
Other ideas: sushi, chicken drumstick, raw vegetables (carrot/cucumber/celery/tomatoes), sliced egg, sausages with a dip or in a hotdog roll.
Don’t feel you have to fill up the lunchbox. Just include what your child is likely to eat. Large portions can be overwhelming for a child who has a small appetite.
If you want to include a drink, provide a juice carton with straw, or get a small bottle, which you fill up at home.
Helpful websites to purchase packed lunch size thermos flasks and other useful items include: www.gltc.co.uk and www.lakeland.co.uk.
Written by: Mike Papesch: Trustee: June 2013
Reviewed: John Newman January 2018