Pupils in our Prep department are participating in the School’s new ‘Rainbow on a Plate’ healthy eating initiative. The children are being challenged to eat at least three different coloured fruit and vegetables every lunchtime, with the aim of getting them to think more about their food choices. They are rewarded for their colourful healthy choices by earning stickers, certificates and other incentives.
The initiative, designed by the Preparatory School team, aims to encourage pupils to think about their colour choices rather than the number of fruit and vegetables they eat. The School is lucky to have a wonderful Catering team creating delicious menus with plenty of colourful choices but they were still finding that the pupils were making the same, safe food choices.
Launched on the first day of term, the children were presented with a variety of fruit and vegetables to try and were encouraged to create their own rainbow. Over half of the children tried something new with many of them coming back for seconds. The Pre-Prep pupils now enjoy their own sharing plates of cut up fruit and vegetables.
The Catering staff have been incredibly supportive of the initiative, even producing chocolate brownies containing beetroot! The pupils have really enjoyed eating the crudities from the salad bar, trying red cabbage, raw mini sweetcorn and watermelon to name a few delicious options. Whilst these choices were always available, the team has noticed a difference in the pupils’ willingness to try new foods or foods that they previously thought they did not like. “It is great, we are having to refill the vegetable dishes more frequently now because the pupils are choosing to eat more of them,” commented one of the chefs.
The pupils are very excited about taking part and love to talk about all the different colours they have managed to eat at lunchtime. “I’ve never eaten as many different fruits and vegetables as I have tried recently”, said a Year 4 pupil. Parents have also responded positively, delighted that their children are making more informed choices. One parent commented, “My daughter was so proud of her food choices today, she couldn’t wait to tell me”.
Linking in with Science and Healthy Eating, the School is aiming to help the pupils understand the importance of making healthy food choices, especially at a time when child obesity is so frequently highlighted. Amherst prides itself on the education, support and nurture of the whole person and sees it as one more way of educating its pupils to ultimately become adults who can make good choices.