Healthy Eating & Oral Policy

 

 St Robert’s Healthy Eating and Oral Health Policy

 

 

Purpose

 Leadership and staff acknowledge the importance of healthy eating and oral health behaviours, which contribute to good health and overall wellbeing.

 

This policy confirms our commitment to:

  • encouraging students to make healthy food and drink choices
  • promoting the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which includes drinking water, eating healthy food and maintaining oral health
  • creating a supportive environment for healthy eating and good oral health for students, staff, families and visitors.

 

As a health promoting school, we will promote healthy eating and oral health to students, staff and families through learning, policies, creating a safe and healthy physical and social environment, and developing community links and partnerships.

 

Policy statement

Background

Healthy eating and good nutrition have a major influence on the health and wellbeing of children and young people, and a direct impact on their growth and development. Acknowledging the social and cultural role of food, and the wide range of attitudes to it, is important within the school environment.

Oral health is essential for the overall health and wellbeing of children and young people. Oral diseases can negatively affect individuals through pain, discomfort, and impacts on general health and quality of life.

 

Whole school engagement

It is recognised that every member of St. Robert’s school community has an impact on students’ health, and can contribute to creating an environment that promotes healthy eating and good oral health. All members of our school community including staff, students, families and volunteers will be supported to meet this policy.

 

Definitions

Healthy eating: Eating a wide variety of foods from the five food groups each day. Healthy eating also means eating in a way that is socially and culturally appropriate, having regular meals and snacks and eating food to satisfy hunger, appetite and energy needs.2

 

Nutrition: Everyone needs food to provide the right balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients (like protein, carbohydrate and fats) to feel energised and to help them grow and stay healthy. The meals we eat and the drinks we drink satisfy hunger and thirst throughout the day as well as fuel the body. Preparing and sharing meals with friends, family or community is a significant way to build relationships and is an important part of our culture.

 

‘Occasional’ foods and drink:Also referred to as ‘extra foods’ or ‘discretionary foods’ (sometimes called junk food), these are foods like potato chips, chocolate, cakes, lollies, soft drinks and some takeaway food like hamburgers and hotdogs. These foods are usually low in nutrients and high in salt, sugar or fat.3

 

‘Select carefully’ foods and drink: Include foods like commercially prepared pastas, noodles and soups, meat products and fruit juice.

 

‘Everyday’ foods and drink:Include whole foods such as fresh fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals, lean cuts of meat, legumes, canteen made soups, reduced fat dairy products and water.

 

Oral health: Defined as ‘eating, speaking and socialising without pain, discomfort or embarrassment’.

 

Procedures

Healthy policies

  • Staff, families and students are involved in guiding the development and implementation of the whole school, healthy eating and oral health policies and are seen as key partners in promoting and supporting healthy eating and oral health initiatives in the school.
  • Staff, families and students are provided with information about policy requirements.

 

Healthy physical environment

  • Food provided at camps, school excursions and sports days are in line with the guidelines and recommendations for the provision of a menu that focuses on  ‘Everyday Foods and Drink’  
  • Families are encouraged to provide healthy lunchboxes.
  • Healthy food options are encouraged for staff at all professional and social events.
  • Safe drinking water is available at all times and only water bottles filled with water are to be accessed during class.
  • Sweet drinks are not permitted during class time, and discouraged during school hours.
  • The school seeks to ensure any sponsorship, advertisements or marketing of food and drinks is consistent with the school’s healthy eating and oral health policies.  Students are encouraged to undertake oral hygiene practices where appropriate.
  • Student who participate in contact sports as part of school teams and programs will be encouraged to wear appropriate dental protection, i.e. mouth guards
  • The school will provide information to staff and in first aid/sick bay areas on what to do in the event of a dental injury (i.e. when a tooth is knocked out).

 

 Healthy social environment

  • Food and drink, food vouchers and sweets are not used as an incentive or reward.
  • Students are given adequate time to eat their food in suitable and inviting eating spaces, which encourage the social interaction of students.
  • To support positive role modelling, staff and families are encouraged to bring food and drinks which are in line with the school’s healthy eating policy.
  • Staff and families are encouraged to foster a healthy body image and enjoyment of eating.
  • The school respects and celebrates the cultural diversity of its community through recognising and valuing cultural and traditional beliefs about food and oral health.

 

  Learning and skills

  • Healthy eating and oral health are incorporated into the curriculum, across multiple key learning areas.
  • Students have the opportunity to engage in regular food-related activities, such as planning and shopping for meals, growing, cooking and eating foods, which are culturally appropriate and varied.
  • Teachers will discuss tooth brushing practices and why they are important with students.
  • Members of staff are supported to access resources, tools and professional learning to enhance their knowledge and capacity to promote healthy eating and oral health across the curriculum.

 

 Engaging children, young people, staff and families

  • Students are consulted about healthy eating and oral health initiatives via junior school council, student action teams or other representative structures.
  • Families and staff are, on a regular basis, provided with information, ideas and practical strategies to promote and support healthy eating and oral health at school and at home.
  • Families are encouraged to be involved in healthy eating and oral health initiatives at school.
  • Families and students from culturally diverse backgrounds are engaged to ensure cultural values and expectations about food, eating and oral health are respected.
  • Important key oral health messages in ‘Oral Health messages for the Australian public’ should be emphasised to families.

 

 Community partnerships

  • The school will work with local health professionals, services, businesses or agencies, where possible, to support staff, students and families to promote healthy eating.

 

 Relevant accountability documents

National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Dietary Guidelines

DEECD School Policy and Advisory Guide – Health Education Approaches

Oral Health Messages for the Australian Public

 

 Related school policies:

  • Physical Activity Policy
  • Anaphylaxis/Food Allergies Policy
  • Staff Health and Wellbeing Policy

 

Monitoring and Review

 The healthy eating and oral health policy will be monitored and reviewed by the staff, school council, student representatives and the health and wellbeing team at least once every three years.

 

Endorsed by school council: _____________________________

 

Date: _______________________________________

 

Next review date: _____________________________________