St. Aengus’ N.S.

Healthy Eating Policy

Through this policy St. Aengus N.S. aims to help all those in our school community; children, staff and parents in developing positive and responsible attitudes to eating and to appreciate the contribution that good food makes to health.

We look forward to working with the parents and pupils in promoting our healthy eating policy.


  • To encourage the children to make healthy food choices.
  • To develop healthy eating in school
  • To enable the children to appreciate the importance of good nutrition for growing and developing and staying healthy.


The traditional lunch of a sandwich/fruit and milk/water are being replaced in some cases by more convenient foods.  This is raising concerns among students, teachers and parents who sometimes find it difficult to come up with nutritious lunches that the children will enjoy.  It is therefore timely that the school supports parents in providing healthy food that will enable their children to participate fully in the school day.  By raising nutrition awareness amongst our children we are providing them with a basis to make informed choices about their health in the future.

From our recent healthy eating survey we found many positive aspects to the children’s lunches. In a survey conducted in February 2018, we found that:

  • 100% support a healthy eating policy in the school.
  • 80% of parents and 86% of children would support a ban on sugary foods such as biscuits, bars, sweets, cereal bars etc.
  • 93% of adults and 75% of children would support a ban on sugary drinks such as fruit juices, fizzy drinks and sports drinks.
  • 100% would you be interested in a nutritionist visiting the school to provide advice and information to pupils and parents.
  • 94% of children have water as their main drink
  • 88% have fruit
  • 42% have wholemeal breads/pasta

The focus of this policy is to support parents and pupils in relation to healthy eating habits from an early age. Practical suggestions are included, alternative snacks and treats as well as possible nutritious lunches. This policy is linked to S.P.H.E. (Social, Personal & Health Education): Taking Care of My Body – Food and Nutrition and Making Choices and Science: Myself – Human Life Processes



It is the policy of our school that

  • Healthy lunches are encouraged.
  • A healthy lunchbox includes a piece of food from each of the bottom four shelves of the Food Pyramid
  • Friday is treat day. On this day one treat size piece of food from the top shelf of the Food Pyramid may be included in the lunchbox.
  • Food, which have wrappers are best kept to a minimum. All food wrappings must be brought home and we encourage the use of lunchboxes and reusable bottles for drinks.
  • Keep food manageable e.g. peeled oranges, apple slices, halved grapes etc.


Examples of foods that are actively encouraged in your child’s lunchbox.  
Wholemeal bread, rolls, wraps, pitta breads, bagels, pasta, scones, breadsticks, cream crackers, rice cakes

Brown bread, Soda Bread, Banana Bread

Fruit( washed, chopped as necessary)

Vegetables (washed & chopped) E.g.  peppers, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, sweetcorn, lettuce etc


Dairy Products-natural yoghurt with added fruit, cheese, milk, butter etc.

Healthy dips e.g. hummus, cheese dip etc.


Chicken, ham, beef, turkey

Please note the above lists of foods are suggestions, there are lots of other healthy choices that may not be mentioned in the above list.

Please be aware of foods that can cause tooth decay due to high sugar content e.g. dried fruits, flavoured yoghurts etc.

Drinks allowed in school are:

Natural Milk i.e. not flavoured


The following foods should not be included in your child’s lunchbox for the following reasons stated:

Not Allowed: Reason:


Peanut butter

Foods containing nuts

They represent a choking hazard and a number of pupils are allergic to them.

Chocolate Bars

Cereal Bars

Crisps and similar snacks

Fizzy Drinks

Fruit Juices

Drink and smoothies cartons

Fruit Winders

Confectionary cakes/buns

They are on the top shelf of the food pyramid and also cause tooth decay.
Chewing Gum


It represents a litter problem.


N.B. Parents/guardians of any child with a medical condition which requires a special diet should contact the school.


  • One treat size bar or equivalent is allowed on a Friday, to help promote a healthy attitude towards food.
  • Treats on special occasions.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Parents/guardians have a responsibility to provide lunches which do not include any of the prohibited foods and, if possible, to include a selection of healthy lunches.
  • Children have a responsibility to eat their own lunch, and not to share or trade food or drink with others.
  • Teachers have a responsibility to provide a good example through their own healthy eating habits and teaching healthy eating through the S.P.H.E. programme.
  • The whole school community- staff, parents/guardians, children –will work together to promote the success of this policy. All are encouraged to discuss and provide feedback on its performance which will be reported back as appropriate to the Principal and staff
  • The overall performance of the policy will be regularly monitored and evaluated by the BoM



This policy will be implemented in May 2018 and reviewed in 2-3 year period.

Ratified by the Board of Management on 01/05/2018