We believe that improved health, social and cognitive development cannot be achieved without good nutrition. Poorly nourished children cannot grow and develop optimally, resist infection, learn to their full potential or overcome social, emotional or behavioural difficulties. For this reason, a huge amount of importance is placed on the diet at Hopedale School.
Our menus are skilfully devised to offer the highest levels of nutrition. Throughout the day, many opportunities to meet the ‘five a day’ target are presented to the children. We know that persuading some children to eat fruit and vegetables can be difficult. With this in mind, we use creative techniques to pack as much of these foods as possible into our lunches, sometimes hidden! Children are also offered a multivitamin and mineral supplement each day.
But it’s not just the nutritional aspect of food that we think is important. We believe that sharing and enjoying eating-experiences with others, whether it’s just a snack, or a three course meal, is an excellent vehicle for social development. Our dining area provides a comfortable, social, and atmospheric environment for dining.
Because we know that many children enjoy gardening, we have our own market garden, which provides some of the fruit and vegetables used to create meals at Hopedale School. If we grow enough, we can even sell a small amount of produce at the local farmers’ market! The process from ‘seed to plate/market’ can be extremely rewarding.