What’s On The Menu?
Providing nutritious and healthy school meals is an integral part of Aldenham's commitment to the learning and development of children. Our decision to work with leading nutritionists and caterers was to ensure that pupils had access to not only a balanced diet, but also one that offers many health benefits.
Quality education is only one part of our all-round approach to learning; we also nurture the physical and mental well-being of our pupils. A healthy diet plays a crucial role in the development and growth of children at school, and the meals we provide reflect the essential foods they need to flourish.
Balanced and Varied Meals
In order to promote the healthy development of a child, a balanced diet should aim to include all the main food groups, such as carbohydrates, protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables. With food specialists' guidance, we developed a menu that addresses these groups to best support our pupils' learning and brain development.
In keeping with the culture and community in which our school resides, we paid special attention in providing Halal and vegetarian options. Pupils with allergies and specific dietary requirements are also catered for. We also endeavour to make meals delicious, as well as healthy, so pupils are encouraged to try something new each time they enter the canteen.
Fuelling The Minds Of Future Generations
Starchy carbohydrates like rice, potatoes, bread and pasta are great sources of energy, especially at a time when children are at their most active. It’s also a crucial food group as it fuels the brain and is gradually released in the body during the day, helping pupils to stay alert and engaged in school activities.
Another key food group is protein, which helps towards the physical and hormonal development of a child. As well as repairing and maintaining vital tissues, it’s also critical for the growth of all organ systems, including the brain. Harvard University listed protein as one of the crucial brain foods all children need, along with iron and zinc. It can be found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs and beans, and also in dairy products like milk and cheese, all of which we provide for our pupils during the week.
In addition to carbohydrates and proteins, we also provide pupils daily access to freshly cut fruit as a dessert option and vegetables to accompany their main meals. Fruit and vegetables are an invaluable aspect of a balanced diet as they are packed with nutrients, vitamins and fibre which contribute to a child’s gut health development. There is extensive medical research that suggests a strong link between gut health and mental health, as exemplified by Oregon State University who found that abnormalities or lack of variety in microbiome could be an indicator of behavioural and mental health issues.
The more varied a diet is, the better the body can absorb key nutrients that promote physical and mental growth. We aim to include one type of each main food group in every meal so that pupils have enough energy and concentration throughout the school day, as well as aiding their growth and development. The typical main meal options pupils can find are as follows:
- Beef curry and basmati rice
- Chickpea and lentil dhal
- Grilled chicken and pasta
- Jacket potato and baked beans
- Lamb or vegan shepherds pie
- Fish fingers and chips
At Aldenham Prep Riyadh, we believe that healthy bodies lead to healthy minds. In every aspect of our holistic approach to learning, we have considered what it means to provide children with the necessary tools to flourish physically, mentally and academically. By offering pupils’ access to meals that promote a nutritious and balanced diet, we can help stimulate those necessary steps in a child’s development and in turn, teach them how to take care of themselves in the future.