Nutrition and Hydration Week has taken place every March since 2012. brings people together to create energy, focus and fun to highlight and educate us on the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing.
This is important in schools as what you eat and drink throughout the day will have an impact on what you can achieve throughout your day.
The government has created guides for schools to follow to make sure the food they serve in the canteen not only looks good but tastes good as well. They say that
‘ Eating in school should be a pleasurable experience. These school food standards are designed to help children develop healthy eating habits, and ensure that they have the energy and nutrition they need to get the most from their whole school day’
What do you think of the food in your school canteen? It should consist of,
- plenty of fruit and vegetables
- plenty of unrefined starchy foods
- some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
- some milk and dairy foods
- a small amount of food and drink high in fat, sugar and salt
Know the facts
So let’s start at the basics, after all knowledge is power.
- Follow a balanced healthy diet. The easiest way to do this is to base your food intake on the Eatwell guide, having a varied diet in the proportions shown will ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs to grow and function.
Check out our healthy diet page for more information and top tips for eating a healthy balanced diet
Make healthier choices
We can make healthier choices by:
- comparing labels to make healthy choices
- selecting the right portion sizes for you
- making sugar swaps.
- buying locally and eating foods in season is much better for the environment
Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day, but why is this? Maybe this video can explain.
Now we know that breakfast can fill us with energy, set us up for the day and help us achieve what we want throughout the day, maybe it’s time to make time for breakfast? Why not visit the Healthier Families website for lots of breakfast ideas.
Water is so important for our health as it keeps us hydrated as well as helping us use the energy from our foods and replacing the water our bodies are using all the time. Watch the clip from BBC bitesize for information about water in our bodies.
How much water should we drink?
NHS guidelines advise drinking around six to eight glasses a day.
Our bodies lose more water than usual if we are very active or when the weather is particularly warm, because we sweat more.
Before, during and after exercise we benefit from drinking water and eating foods with a high water content. This helps us to perform better and keeps replacing the water lost. Athletes need to stay hydrated to get the most out of their bodies.
If you would like to speak to your school nurse about nutrition and hydration please contact us via the Chathealth page
Written By Natasha Dawe School Nurse