The benefits of healthy eating

By helping pupils establish healthy eating habits during childhood, we’re able to give them a strong foundation for a lifetime of wellbeing.

We create an environment in our school that prioritises nutritious food choices, to give our pupils the ability and the confidence to make informed decisions about their diet and cultivate habits that support their physical and intellectual growth.

Healthy eating is not purely about physical health, it also improves cognitive function, academic performance and a person’s overall wellbeing. A study published in the Journal of School Health found students who consumed a higher quality diet, including more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, had better academic performance compared to those with poorer dietary habits. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition indicates nutrients (such as omega-3 fatty acids) are essential for cognitive development in children, and an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc, has been linked to improved cognitive function and attention span.

We teach pupils about nutrition as part of the Paradigm Trust curriculum. In lessons they learn about the importance of balanced diets, food groups, the importance of vitamins and minerals, and nutritional value. We also organise workshops and events to engage pupils and provide them with practical knowledge about healthy eating. Pupils go on farm trips so they can understand more about the provenance and seasonality of food, and we use resources including digital media and printed posters in school to reinforce key messages about nutrition and healthy food choices.

To encourage healthy eating habits, it’s important pupils always have access to nutritious food. Our school lunches are provided by Lunchtime Co., a caterer that prepares its menus carefully, following the School Food Standards Guidance in combination with the nutrition criteria of the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering Services. Variety is a key consideration in what they create, so different fruits, vegetables, grains, pulses, meat and fish are incorporated across the week, to serve food that looks good and tastes good too.

Promoting healthy eating in our schools is a vital investment in the wellbeing and future of our children. By prioritising nutrition education, providing access to nutritious food, teaching culinary skills and creating supportive environments, we help give pupils the ability to make informed choices that support their physical, cognitive and emotional health.

Last updated June 4, 2024