New Menu Plan
The newly implemented 3 (three) week menu cycle plan (mid-morning snack and lunch) has been designed by registered dietitian’s Cecily Fuller and Jenny-Anne Smuts to meet 40% of the daily nutritional requirements needed to promote growth as well as mental and physical development for growing children.
A well-balanced approach has been taken to provide adequate energy and the essential macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate and fat) based on recognized guidelines and healthy eating principles for moderately active children.
- The menu is varied to encourage the intake of a variety of nutrients, textures and tastes making it interesting and fun. It may also vary according to the season and availability of fresh produce.
- Portion sizes have been calculated for the different age groups. Children are encouraged to eat according to their hunger. As a large part of the day is spent at school, lunch is strongly encouraged for the 9-12 year olds.
- Minimal added fat is used in the preparation of all meals giving preference to unsaturated fat.
- To comply with the no-sugar policy within the school grounds, baked items are limited to once a week (banana bread, muffins and oat slices) as a treat. These items are prepared using less sugar and are still nutrient dense. Limited amounts of honey are used to sweeten plain yoghurt.
- Limited salt is used in food preparation and every effort is made to avoid the use of artificial preservatives and flavourants.
- Children need 3 servings of dairy- rich foods a day (1 serving = 30 g cheese = 250 ml milk = 150 ml yoghurt) to meet their calcium requirements. Additional dairy needs to be provided at home (at breakfast or as a snack) to make up the balance.
- A variety of vegetables (raw and cooked) are included in snacks and lunches. For the younger children they are often mixed in as part of the meal but with time they are encouraged to try them separately to get used to new tastes and textures.
- One fruit is provided by the school in addition to the fruit that is brought from home. The aim is to achieve 2-3 servings of fruit a day. For active children participating in sport extra fruit is recommended.
- Meat-Free Mondays has been introduced to expose children to the concept of vegetarian alternatives and its impact on the environment. Some meat-free ideas to try at home include lentil/chickpea curry, falafel balls, soups with legumes and lentil and rice bake. Alternatively legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) can be added to meat dishes and stews.
To make up the balance of the nutrients required, healthy eating principles should also be encouraged at home. Some nutritious breakfast ideas include oats porridge, fruit smoothie, wholegrain unsweetened cereal and boiled/scrambled egg on whole-wheat toast.
Unfortunately the school can not cater for everyone’s likes and dislike but we are willing to accommodate special dietary requirements. Food intolerance’s and allergies need to be confirmed with a clinical diagnosis. To accommodate nut allergies the kitchen is nut- free.