Kenilworth students encouraged to eat ‘brain food’ in run up to examsPosted on: 29/04/2019
Kenilworth School students are being encouraged to eat ‘brain food’ in the run up to their GCSEs this summer – with special menus, advice and a brain friendly meal deal being offered by the catering team.
The importance of diet on cognitive function, energy levels and the ability to perform under pressure will be be spelled out to the teenagers at a special assembly after Easter and on posters plastered around the school. Students have been working with the school’s catering manager and one of its chefs to encourage fellow youngsters to change their approach to eating.
The ‘brain food’ initiative has been developed following meetings between the student council – made up of year 7 to 11s – and the school’s specialist catering supplier Innovate.
Innovate works very closely with the student council and they spend a lot of time discussing healthy eating, what foods are good for the brain and how to communicate these messages across the whole school.
They decided that a good way to help them stay alert during exam season was to encourage them to eat healthily first thing in the morning. So we have introduced a special £1 buffet style breakfast.”
Headteacher, Hayden Abbott
Innovates’s operations director Bryan Lygate will be talking in assembly to the year 11s about the various health benefits of particular food groups.
Key messages include the fact that the vitamin C in fruit aids concentration and reduces stress, complex carbohydrates found in porridge, wholemeal bread and pasta release the happy chemical serotonin and magnesium found in spinach, yogurt and bananas regulate the stress hormone cortisol.
Students opting for the breakfast will start the day with a good mixture of complex carbs, fruit, cereal and fruit juice as well as a bottle of water to help them concentrate, flush out toxins, stave off tiredness and boost their immune system.
While the breakfasts are a special exam time initiative, the school’s refreshing approach to healthy eating – and its determination to listen to what its students are saying – has gone a long way to helping its young people live a healthier lifestyle.
One change put in place by Innovate over the past few years following meetings with the school council is the installation of salad bars at all three canteens – in lower and upper school and in the sixth form.
“We’ve also engineered products to be healthier, which we can do because we make them from scratch. So we do things like adding seeds to flapjacks, hiding beetroot in chocolate cake, baking not frying. We ensure there are lots of wholegrains and seeds. We have kept the prices low for salad and fruit to encourage students to eat healthier products rather than pick up something sweet.
We’re creating things that are interesting which perhaps the students haven’t tried before, such as carrot slaws and pulled jackfruit wraps.”
The £1 breakfast will be available in the upper school canteen every school day during the exam period from May 13.
Kenilworth School students, pictured with chef Ian Johns, are to be offered a healthy £1 breakfast to provide ‘brain food’ during GCSEs this summer.