Food Policy


St Joseph’s NS Skibbereen

Whole School Food Policy


This policy is necessary because

  • Our policy needed to be updated.
  • Our school is dedicated to providing an environment that promotes healthy eating and enables all to make informed choices.
  • This policy was developed following an audit, staff surveys, children’s surveys and consultation with the HPS team at information days.
  • Through healthy eating habits, we hope to improve nutrition standards in the school and contribute to our school ethos of fostering a healthy, happy atmosphere where children are better able to learn.


  • To take a whole school approach to food in school in relation to the school environment, curriculum and learning, policy and planning and partnerships.
  • To promote healthy eating across school and home life.
  • To ensure that food provision in school reflects the medical requirements of staff and pupils (eg medical and allergenic needs)
  • To make the provision and consumption of food an enjoyable and safe experience.


  1. Environment
  • Children should bring a healthy packed lunch to school.
  • Taking the children’s oral health into consideration they should be encouraged to drink milk or water. Cordial or diluted water drinks are allowed if a child won’t drink milk or water. Fizzy drinks are not allowed. Fruit juices are not encouraged.
  • Crisps, lollipops, hard sweets, chewing gum, cans and glass bottles are not allowed for safety reasons.
  • Children in junior infants are not encouraged to bring yogurts to school. They find these difficult to manage and often end up spilt.
  • For safety reasons, children at the junior side of the school are not to bring containers out to the yard.
  • Children are allowed to bring a small treat on a Friday.
  • Children are allowed to eat either in the classroom or out in the yard.
  • Staff should try, as much as possible to promote non- food rewards.
  • Children should be encouraged to wash their hand before eating when appropriate.
  • The Green School Committee will inform the classes of the compost regulations from time to time.
  • The culture of healthy eating should be encouraged by staff members in the school. Teachers could model a healthy lunch from time to time.
  • Eating a healthy breakfast should be promoted.
  • Teachers should engage with children about their lunches. This is to positively praise efforts made towards healthy eating.


  1. Curriculum and learning
  • Curriculum areas such as SPHE, PE and Science should be consistent with healthy eating messages.
  • Through curricular areas, students should develop the skills needed to make informed decisions about healthy lifestyles.
  • Some staff members should engage in regular professional development.
  • If the school wishes to use resources to convey any healthy eating messages to students, staff or parents they should be taken from reputable agencies.


  1. Policy and Planning
  • This Whole School Food policy should be referenced in other curriculum policies at the time of review – PE, Science, Geography, SPHE.
  • During one term each year there should be reminders and activities to encourage healthy eating taking place across the school (HPS coordinator)
  • A nutritionist/ dietician may speak to parents in the school from time to time.
  • The school nurse may speak to classes.


  1. Partnerships

The school should work and communicate with the following:

  • Parents Association
  • Parents
  • External partners that support the school curriculum
  • Local shops and businesses (if applicable)


Key Measures

  • Healthy Eating should be taught as outlined in the SPHE curriculum.
  • Staff members should attend training and professional development when needed.
  • The school should increase non-food rewards during school time and decrease food rewards.
  • Class parties are up to the discretion of the class teacher.
  • Leaflets and reminders about healthy eating should be sent home at various times during the school year (this can be part of SPHE, Science or as a stand-alone lesson)



  • This policy should be:
  • Ratified by the Board Of Management
  • Communicated to the parents (via email?)
  • Displayed in the school and on the school website
  • Be provided to new students at enrolment


  • This policy should be implemented from September 2018
  • Review at the staff meeting in the third term,
  • Following this, the policy should be reviewed/ updated after 2 years of implementation.