At Hurst Drive Primary School, we want to encourage our children to adopt a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Please click here to get ideas for healthier packed lunches for your child.
We have listed below what foods should and what foods must not be in children’s packed lunches.
What foods could I include in my child's packed lunch?
- At least one portion of fruit
- At least one portion of vegetables
- One portion of meat, fish, eggs or non-dairy protein (e.g. hummus, beans)
- A starchy food such as bread (e.g. white or brown rolls, chapatti, pitta bread or tortilla wraps), pasta, rice, couscous or noodles
- A dairy food (e.g. yogurt, cheese)
- Either a packet of crisps or a couple of plain biscuits (e.g. digestive biscuits)
- A drink of water, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk (or dairy-free equivalent)
What foods must not be in my child's packed lunch?
- Chocolate and chocolate-covered biscuits
- Cereal bars
- Processed fruit bars
- Pastry products (e.g. sausage rolls, pies, jam tarts, croissants)
- Sugary soft drinks (including sugar-free ones as they still cause tooth decay)
Why do you care about what’s in my child’s packed lunch?
We know parents/carers dislike being told how to care for their children; however, we need to adopt a very strict approach with packed lunches for the following reasons:
- Too many of our children have fillings, rotting teeth, tooth abscesses or teeth removed due to a diet high in sugar (as well as poor dental hygiene);
- Over the past 3 years, the data gathered by NHS-run National Childhood Measurement Programme revealed that 49% of our Year 6 children were overweight or obese compared to 34% nationally; and,
- A news article published by the BBC stated that fewer children in disadvantaged areas are getting the recommended 60 minutes of exercise each day to keep them healthy.
There is also no escaping the fact that if our children at Hurst Drive Primary School grow up to be adults who are obese, or who eat a diet high in fat and/or sugar, they will be at greater risk of developing life-threatening conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
What happens if I put unhealthy foods in my child’s packed lunch?
Packed lunches will be reviewed by school staff.
If a child’s packed lunch includes items children must not have, the item/s of food will be returned to your child’s lunch box and a reminder included (e.g. a sticker, a copy of this leaflet etc.). If the child’s entire packed lunch is unhealthy, we will see what spare school dinner we have to give them instead.
If a child regularly brings a packed lunch that does not meet our expectations, the school will contact the parent/carer to discuss this.
Children are allowed to bring a healthy snack with them to school to have at break time. The same rules apply to snacks as to lunches so please refer to the list above to see which items children must not bring to school as a snack. As a rule, we recommend a piece of fruit, a couple of plain biscuits or raw vegetables such as carrot or cucumber sticks. If children bring an inappropriate snack to school such as a whole pack of biscuits or a large sharing bag of crisps, these will be removed from the child and returned to them at the end of the school day to take home.