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☰ Eat Well - Live Well

Head's Blog

Eat Well - Live Well

Posted on May 14 2019

Whatever happened to the Turkey Twizzler? Just over a decade ago, the humble piece of spiralled meat became the most talked about food item in schools within the UK and was a prime example of what not to feed pupils. Made famous by Jamie Oliver and his crusade to improve school meals across the nation, it is satisfying to know that our current generation of young people probably don’t even know what one of these Twizzlers is. Thankfully, school meals have improved dramatically, but for this to be sustained it is imperative that we educate our young people about healthy lifestyles.

At Forest Park Preparatory School promoting a healthy lifestyle plays a very important role in our school. Good health is vital and healthy eating can influence physical, social and mental well-being. Staff are dedicated to helping each other understand the role of healthy eating in achieving good health. Our pupils develop positive attitudes towards their eating habits and provide opportunities for each child to access knowledge, understanding and skills related to healthy lifestyles so they are able to make informed choices.

We work in partnership with our dedicated catering team, led by Mrs Beale, to ensure that nutritional standards are implemented across all age ranges at school. Our midday team assist at lunchtimes in the dining hall; helping the younger children to make healthy food choices, making sure they drink enough and encouraging good table manners. Senior leaders meet regularly with the student council to discuss wider healthy school/ sporting issues and also lead assemblies to teach the other children about healthy lifestyles.

The school catering team decide upon regular termly food and breakfast themes which allow for a greater variety of options from around the globe for our pupils. Midday team members are consistently on the lookout for children who are doing a particularly good job demonstrating informed healthy choices during these themed days and on a day to day basis. Some of which include, good manners, making healthy choices, trying something new, handling knives and forks correctly, lining up nicely.

At Forest Park we take healthy eating seriously, we discuss healthy eating with the children and encourage them to make healthy choices. We recommend that only fruit, vegetables and suitable cereal bars can be eaten at playtimes and request that parents do not send in sweets, crisps or snacks that are high in sugar or fat.

All children have their own branded water bottles in school which they are encouraged to drink from regularly throughout the day. These are available during school lessons and physical activities. Pupils understand the need to hydrate themselves to improve concentration and learning. They actively monitor usage throughout the day and older pupils link up with younger ones to promote hydration.

Physical activity and exercise are paramount in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At Forest Park children engage in PE and sport lessons (including swimming) for nearly 3 hours per week, well above the recommended guidelines set by the DfE of 2 hours. We also operate many sports clubs run both by staff and outside agencies. We teach children about making good choices to do with their health, such as promoting and encouraging healthy eating. ‘Keeping Healthy’ is very much embedded throughout the curriculum too e.g. our healthy living theme in Key Stage 1. Classes also engage in school trips and activities that promote healthy living. Recent examples include a visit to Tesco’s to find out about the importance of making healthy food choices and learn where our food comes from.

We educate in a positive and exciting manner, never stating that there are things children can’t eat, rather we encourage them to think about the food they eat in terms of a balanced diet, it is good for us to eat more of some foods than others. In particular, we encourage the children to remember the ‘Eat 5 A Day’ idea, for fruit and vegetables to moderate consumption of all food groups and make choices for themselves as they develop and grow.

As with all learning at Forest Park, we aim to build an understanding of the impact of our behaviours and encourage pupils to take responsibility for the choices they make to help them to progress in later life.

Nick Tucker

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