At Piper’s Hill College we strive to maintain a healthy school environment, and in doing so, we have decided to focus in on certain areas where we can make improvements to ensure we are doing our very best to safeguard each student’s present and future well-being. We would like to focus in on student nutrition and have decided to review the school’s policy on foods containing food additives because of the possible negative effects they may have on your child, in terms of their performance in school.
As a result we feel it necessary to ban all fizzy drinks, crisps/popcorn, chocolate, sweets, chewing gum etc. from the school from September 2008. This we feel is a necessary step as a result of research conducted by the school into the effects of food additives on student performance.
The following websites may be of interest as they detail the effects of food additives on student learning, the types of food to avoid, and also give nice, easy tips on how to promote healthy eating habits at home and in school.
We have also put together for you a few ideas that may help when preparing your child’s lunch, along with a list of some of the most notable food chemicals suspected of causing behavioural disturbances and diminishing concentration levels in children. We hope they are of some help to you.
TIPS AND IDEAS
Children need lots of energy and nutrients from food, particularly when they are growing. Try to encourage them to eat lots of fruit and veg (you should aim for at least 5 portions a day) to help ensure they have the required amount of vitamins and minerals. Variety is one of the keys to a healthy, balanced diet and this applies just as much to the fruit and veg you eat. The more types of fruit and veg included the better, because different fruit/veg contain different nutrients.
Including a range of colours, flavours and textures can help make food more interesting and enjoyable.
- Sandwiches are a popular choice for packed lunches and can be easily filled with a variety of salads. Or a mixed salad could be put in the veg tub, to be eaten with the usual sandwiches.
- Use fruit and veg in different forms, whether cooked or raw.
- Some vegetables taste good grated (e.g. carrots) and some can be cut into sticks and perhaps eaten with a dip (e.g. carrots, celery or peppers).
- Have a variety of fruit and veg in a pot and create a ‘salad’. You might like to try a fruit salad of banana, orange, pineapple slices with a sprinkling of raisins and a veg salad of lettuce, sweetcorn, grated carrot, peas or tomato.
- Stir-fries can include fruit and/or vegetables. Save some from the previous evening meal and put in a lunchbox tub.
- Mix cheese (cubes or grated) with a portion of fruit and/or any of the above vegetable items.
- Pack fruit juice in your child’s lunchbox instead of cordial or fizzy drinks. Make sure it’s 100% pure juice with no added sugar. Smoothies (made mostly of fruit) are also a healthy fruit drink.
WATCH OUT FOR:
Sunset yellow (E110) colouring found in squashes
Carmoisine (E122) red colouring in jellies
Tartrazine (E102) new colouring in lollies, fizzy drinks
Ponceau 4R (E124) red colouring
Sodium Benzoate (E211) preservative
Quinoline Yellow (E104) food colouring
Allura Red AC (E129) orange or red food dye
Research has linked the above additives to conditions such as hyperactivity, ADD, mood swings, depression, tiredness and anxiety, all factors which COULD affect your child’s ability to learn and achieve their very best.