For children of secondary school age, healthy eating is important for both mental and physical health and can help with concentration, mood, energy levels and coping with stress. A heathy diet can also help in the maintenance of a healthy weight.
In Hampshire, 30.6% of children start secondary school overweight or obese. Being overweight or obese as a child can be harmful for both physical and mental health, body image and self-esteem. Obesity in childhood is very likely to continue into adolescence and adulthood, becoming a life-long issue.
Peer influence becomes especially important in adolescence and can play a crucial role in shaping young people’s eating behaviours and food preferences. Creating an ethos of healthy eating within a secondary school can help to promote positive behaviours, supporting healthy and wellbeing throughout the school.
Standards for School Food in England guidance on the standards for planning and providing food in schools by the Department of Education
School Food and Attainment review by Public Health England
The School Food Plan: 17 actions to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food.
Advice and guidance
BEAT Eating Disorders resources
Sugar Smart ideas and resources to become a Sugar Smart setting
Food - a fact of life (FFL) - Free resources for teaching young people aged 3-16 years about where food comes from, cooking and healthy eating
Food For Life Schools by the Soil Association has activities schools can do to improve the food environment and support learning
Which Foods Cause Tooth Decay? NHS information and links to other dental information
For young people and parents/carers:
The Eatwell Guide explained by the NHS
5 a day and Your Family NHS Choices advice on incorporating fruits and veggies every day