Greenfield Community School says goodbye, Mr Chips

Greenfield enlists firm to deliver healthy food and brighter pupils.

The Greenfield Community School canteen provides pupils with a healthy and varied lunch menu. Duncan Chard for The National
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DUBAI // The Greenfield Community School has no appetite for junk food and the policy is paying off in the classroom.

The school took the initiative last year to develop good eating habits among children by partnering with a new catering company.

Now, their canteen provides pupils with a healthy, diversified lunch menu and will not need to make many changes to comply with new school canteen regulations laid out by Dubai Municipality and Dubai Health Authority.

"We are very cautious of issues surrounding allergies, obesity, diabetes and other relevant health concerns," said Samone Goulder, public relations officer of the school.

"Healthy lifestyles and healthy eating are an integral part of the GCS curriculum. Sweets and nuts cannot be consumed at school and there are no vending machines on campus. We are also very strict about children exchanging lunches brought from home."

The school also provides free cold water to students at all times and the canteen stocks only fresh juice and water.

"At GCS we believe that exposing children purely to healthy food options ensures they are best equipped to make the most from their school day, maximises their learning potential, encourages activity and makes them generally happier children," she said.

Laura Holland, a nutritional therapist in Dubai, said that apart from the obvious benefits that healthy food provided to the body, the benefits could be equally beneficial for the mind.

"It helps students to concentrate and they are much calmer in class," she said.

"Fresh fruits and loads of water are some of the best options on any menu."

Ms Holland said parents were always concerned about what their children ate at school, and a constant message from the school about a good and natural diet was necessary for their well-being.

Cindy Cafolla, the business development manager of FC Yummy Lunches, which runs cafeterias at three schools in Dubai including Greenfield, said the company avoided selling processed foods.

"We use healthy and fresh products to cook our meals," she said.