Breakfast, lunch and drinks – The results are in…
With so many different choices nowadays, it can be hard to keep up with what your children are eating for their breakfasts and lunches in school or nursery. Not only this, but the variety of drinks and snacks offered too can prove to have more added sugar in than you think.
We’ve had a great response to our Rewards Review survey, with 487 UK schools and nurseries taking part already, and we’ve found some very interesting results that you may want to take a look at…
Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, of course. We found that 66% of schools ran a breakfast club, and 66% of all breakfast club drinks contained added sugar.
Typically, we would advise schools and nurseries to stick to water for breakfast. Juices and soft drinks give children a sugar spike, quickly followed by a sugar crash, meaning your children’s energy levels will actually decrease before they’ve even started their school day. 9% even provided soft drinks at breakfast time, which we would suggest to cut out completely!
20% of schools provided cereals with HIGH sugar content. The main cereals on offer where Corn Flakes or Rice Crispies, which were provided by 90% of schools that took part.
Other high sugar cereals include Crunchy Nut, Coco Pops and Frosties, so keep an eye out for nutrition labels when you’re next in your local supermarket to see the sugar content for yourself!
Experts say foods that are considered high in sugar have more than 22.5g of total sugars per 100g. You can read in more detail about how healthy breakfast cereals are by clicking here.
After analyzing the survey results, we found that 98% of schools and nurseries provided lunch for their pupils. A whopping 94% of these offered desserts with added sugar. Take a look at the bar chart below, and you will see desserts are almost as popular as fruit. Not only this, but ice cream was next in line, another culprit full of added sugar.
In our survey, we asked how many days per week schools offered cakes/puddings and sweets for dessert. The results came back at an average of FOUR days per week. Due to these results, we suggest lowering this to ONCE per week. The more desserts are provided, the more of a problem we will have with children expecting them more on a regular basis as part of their everyday eating habits.
Don’t forget about snacks!
For schools with a tuck shop, 94% sell snacks with added sugar. This includes chocolate, bread sticks, sweets, biscuits, popcorn and crisps. So, we suggest promoting fruit and veg snacks. This could include celery sticks, whole fruit and more. For more quick snack ideas click here.
What drinks do you provide at breakfast club?
Did you know drinks are actually just as important to keep an eye on as food? Many soft drinks are full of added sugar and artificial sweeteners, which will increase the number of children developing tooth decay at such a young age.
Did you know the main reason children between ages 5-9 are admitted to hospital is due to tooth decay? The quicker we can kick added sugar from schools, the quicker we will see an improvement in our children’s dental health.
Water is the best drink to offer children at meal times, as it provides hundreds of health benefits. As well as this, we advise soft drinks to be cut out completely, which will also help prevent any after-lunch slumps.
Wait, there’s more…
Take a look below at our info graphic to find out some more surprising results from our Rewards Review survey, based on the answers from 487 UK schools and nurseries. What stands out the most to you?
Read our Press Release by clicking here.
Have you taken our Rewards Review yet?
We want to help as many children as possible lead a healthy lifestyle in schools and nurseries. We want to make sure schools are continually improving ways to reduce sugar from their diets.
Do you know someone who works in a school or nursery? Are you a headteacher or assistant headteacher? We would love to hear from you.
Take the Rewards Review here and we will send you a bespoke report free of charge, packed full of low-sugar advice.