Healthy Eating Policy

Ballyshannon NS Healthy Eating Policy


This policy was redrafted by the principal and the staff in May 2021 and was ratified by the BoM in  2022. It will thereafter be communicated to parents.



As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.) Programme we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes.



1.     To promote the personal development and well-being of the



2.     To promote the health of the child and provide a foundation

for healthy living in all its aspects.






1.    For primary school children to achieve their full potential, it is essential that they eat a healthy diet. Healthy eating provides the building blocks for lifelong health and well-being. Primary School children are at a time of physical growth and development – the most rapid since infancy requiring adequate intake of energy and nutrients.


2.    The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC, 2014) report has shown that many primary school children have poor eating habits.



3.    The home plays the major role in determining healthy eating habits. The school, in partnership with parents, can make an important contribution. A Healthy Eating Policy developed in consultation with the whole-school community which includes Teachers, Parents, Students and the Student Councils as part of the school planning process will help to integrate healthy eating into school life.



1.     To promote a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating patterns for the students


2.     To enable the child to appreciate the importance of good

nutrition for growing and developing and staying healthy.


3.     To enable the child to accept some personal responsibility

for making wise food choices and adopting a healthy,

balanced diet.


4.     To help develop student concentration and improve energy levels



Lunch is an important meal for school-going children. It should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance of nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or salt.  It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage).

The traditional packed lunch of milk and sandwiches is under attack from a range of convenience foods like crisps, sweets, biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks. Parents and teachers are concerned about this trend but some find it difficult to come up with popular healthy alternatives. We ask you to encourage a healthy lunch right from the start.



The following guide is designed to help you provide quick, appetising, and nutritious lunches for your children



Bread & Alternatives                                                        Savouries


Bread or rolls                                                                 Lean Meat

Rice – wholegrain                                                               Chicken/Turkey

Pasta – wholegrain                                                             Tinned Fish e.g.,    

Potato Salad                                                                       tuna/sardines

Wholemeal Scones                                                             Cheese





Fruit & Vegetables                                                            Drinks


Apples, Banana, Peach                                                      Milk, Yoghurt                  

Mandarins, Orange segments,                                           Fruit juices

Fruit Salad, dried fruit,                                                        Squashes, i.e. low sugar

Plum, Pineapple cubes                                                      


Cucumber, Sweetcorn





Foods not allowed in school, except on ‘Treat Day’ or school parties:


Crisps and popcorn

Fizzy drinks


Chocolate biscuits/bars


Wednesday is our ‘treat day’, and children are encouraged to bring only one small treat.



A very simple approach to healthy eating is to use the Food Pyramid:


                              Sugar                           Sparingly

                         Sweets etc


                          Meat, Fish                                  2 portions per day


                             Milk, Cheese                              3+ portions per day


                          Fruit & Vegetables                     4+ portions per day

                          Bread, Cereals & Potatoes       6+ portions per day




If children bring prohibited food or drink into school, they will be asked to put it away until after school as they are not permitted to eat “junk food” in school.

If children persist in bringing unhealthy food to school, the class teacher and principal will organise a meeting with their parents/guardians to remind them of the Healthy Eating Policy. It is very difficult to implement the policy successfully if all children do not adhere to the guidelines. It is also not fair on the children who comply with our Healthy Eating Policy to see children who clearly do not obey the rules.


Review Timetable


This policy will be reviewed in 2 years time and amended as necessary by means of a whole school collaborative process.