Healthy bodies means healthy minds and we have a wide variety of initiatives which ensure a culture of healthy eating.
Daily family breakfasts include an extensive variety of options to ensure a robust and healthy start to the day including a ‘Smoothie Bar’, homemade yoghurt, granola, bircher-muesli and muesli selections, as well as cooked options, skimmed milk, no-added sugar cereals and fresh fruits.
Mid-morning snacks, which are brought in by the children must be healthy e.g. fruit, salad, a healthy (nut-free) cereal bar, crackers or a sandwich. Children are not allowed to bring in sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits or crisps for their mid-morning snacks. Staff actively monitor this. A daily tuck shop for children in Years 7 and 8 offers only healthy snacks and drinks with low sugar, salt and fat content.
Lunchtime food options are deliberately extensive to cater for even the fussiest of eaters, but all options are guaranteed to be as healthy as possible, with all lunches being cooked on site. Each day a wide variety of salads are available including three containing proteins. A daily ‘theatre bar’ sees the chef preparing food in front of the children and on Wednesday’s includes foods from around the world as a way of educating our pupils about world cuisines and cultures. A wide variety of fruit is available daily and puddings frequently feature sugar substitutes such as the ever popular ‘chocolate and avocado’ layer cake. We also dry our own fruit to make breakfast cereals and salads even more interesting and healthy.
We recognise that our pupils and indeed staff are often in a rush to get to extra-curricular activities and as such fruit salad and salad pots are available in take-away format as are sandwiches and wraps all made with wholemeal flour.
We firmly believe in educating our pupils about what they eat. As well as regular talks to pupils about the long term benefits of healthy eating, we regularly update displays which detail the content of food such as how much sugar, salt or fat is in common foods and the importance of wholegrains. We also highlight the importance of nature on ensuring our food supply, for example the role of bumblebees in pollination.
To encourage children to continue their healthy eating regimes at home we provide a wide-range of recipe cards which cover many of our most popular dishes so they can be re-created at home. One Tutor group recently produced their own ‘Healthy Eating Recipe Book’ which was carefully researched by the class. They undertook to bake ‘healthy treats’ and to taste and review them. They interviewed the school chef to gather some basic ideas about the essence of good health in snacks. They learnt to try to avoid refined sugars, fats and white flour and they experimented with ingredients that offered natural sweetness in a more unrefined form such as dates.
Our Head Chef runs after-school and holiday cookery courses which focus on healthy and balanced ingredient choices as well as cookery skills.