The Fount of All Knowledge

I don’t know about you, but I don’t look back all that fondly on my school’s food and drink provision. Soggy sandwiches or beans and chips were the order of most days, with a vast selection of tooth rotters in the ‘tuck shop’ for afters. As for drinks, if you didn’t bring your own it was Panda pops in the canteen or taking your life in your hands with an ill-kept urinal-shaped water fountain under the stairs, with a faucet the boys used to take into their mouths to drink from. Thank goodness things have changed!

 Childrens Food Campaign

Thanks to the likes of Jamie Oliver, the Government has got its act together over the delivery of healthy school dinners, allowing Head Teachers the chance to create meals fit for young minds; ‘turkey twizzlers’ and chips have been replaced by freshly prepared salads and healthy main meals. Fizzy drinks are also off the menu, replaced by fruit juices and, in many instances, free-to-use water fountains – and they’re far more appealing than the one that I had to contend with.

The latest range of drinking fountains really deserve a gold star… They might even get an A in Science and IT!  Created with carbon block filtration systems, the Elkay & Halsey Taylor fountains gently remove all impurities from the water, without impacting on taste or odour, making the healthy option far more appealing. A clever computer chip monitors water quality and utilises WI-FI to send reports should the filter need to be changed, so once installed Head Teachers can forget about them, knowing that they’ll be alerted in the event of a problem.

HALSEY TAYLOR MIWDesigned for convenience and to make water as appealing as possible, the fountains are shaped to fill sports bottles easily; they also chill the water to below 6 degrees, for optimum drinking pleasure. Getting kids to take the healthy option can sometimes be a struggle, but schools everywhere are doing a fabulous job at not just giving children the choice to enjoy a healthy drink, but providing them with the information they need to make the right decisions to embrace a healthy lifestyle well into the future.

Why do schools favour water over the fizzy pop? We all know that the sugar and acid increase the risk of tooth decay, and the calories contribute to obesity, but the fizzy stuff has numerous other health warnings:

  • A particular concern for teachers is that fizzy drink consumption increases aggression and has been linked to increased instances of violent behaviour. This marries into the fact that they’ve also been shown to trigger hyperactivity; not something conducive to a calm and productive learning environment.
  • Moving away from the class room and into wider wellbeing, fizzy drinks have been linked to a huge range of health problems, including liver damage, diabetes, heart disease, and doubling the risk of certain types of cancer. There is now even a question about a link to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Eating and drinking healthily isn’t always easy, but when you’ve got appealing kit delivering nature’s best on tap (boom boom!), it becomes a real no-brainer.