Healthy Lunches

Making a healthy lunch - from Healthy Lunchboxes
Making a healthy lunch – from Healthy Lunchboxes

As part of the Social, Personal and Health Education (S.P.H.E.) Programme we encourage the children to become more aware of the need for healthy food in their lunch boxes. Nutrition is an incredibly important part of life for school-going children. Lunches should provide one third of their recommended daily allowance nutrients without being high in fat, sugar or salt. It should also provide dietary fibre (roughage.)

The traditional packed lunch of milk and sandwiches is under attack from a range of convenience foods like crisps, sweets, biscuits, chocolate and soft drinks.  Parents and teachers are concerned about this trend but some find it difficult to come up with healthy alternatives.  We ask you to encourage a healthy lunch.

Nutritional guidelines

The following guide is designed to help you provide quick, appetising and nutritious lunches for your children.



Breads & Alternatives

Breads and alternatives
Bread or rolls, preferably wholemeal
Rice – wholegrain
Pasta – wholegrain
Potato salad
Wholemeal scones
Pitta breads

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Lean meat
Tinned Fish e.g. tuna sardines



Fruit and Veg

Apples, bananas, peach, mandarins, Orange, Fruit salad, dried fruit
Plum, Pineapple cubes, grapes, cucumber, sweetcorn, tomato, coleslaw

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Fruit juices
Squashes i.e. low sugar



Food Pyramid

A very simple approach to healthy eating is to use the Food Pyramid:

On the top 2 shelves:Fats/sugar/sweets –  to be eaten sparingly

On the bottom 4 shelves: Meat, fish, peas and beans – 2 portions per day
Milk, cheese, yoghurt – 3 portions per day
Fruit and Veg – 5+ portions per day
Bread, cereal, potatoes – 6+ portions per day



The children are allowed to have drinks on the tables at all times.  They are encouraged to drink as much water as they like at subject breaks throughout the day.

Foods not allowed in school:

  • Crisps, Peanuts
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Chewing gum
  • Lollipops, sweets, Junk bars, biscuits (look at the sugar content of some of the “healthy” bars!)
  • Glass Bottles are also forbidden

So that you know what your child has eaten for lunch, please encourage your child to bring home uneaten lunch.


Safe Food


Safefood provides teacher-led curriculum based educational resources for children and young people on healthy eating and food safety. These resources are free to schools on the island of Ireland and are designed to be interactive. Each is suitable for a particular age-group or key stage. Most of the resources can be downloaded in this section of the website. For hard copies of the resources, please phone the safefood helpline on ROI 1850 404567/NI 0800 0851683.  Alternatively you can email

As well as supporting healthy eating through the curriculum, we support healthy eating and food safety as part of a whole-school approach.

Website Resources

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