Providing protein for growing children - image  on

Providing protein for growing children

On the school lunch menu this week...

Vegetables and beans


Asian rice with green veg


Pasta Bolognese




Lentil/tomato soup

Dairy, egg, lactose, gluten and wheat free and vegan options provided daily.

There have been some interesting developments in the topic of protein.
Diseases such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones and cancers are associated with a high animal protein diet. The current direction is to obtain more plant protein by eating a varied diet of beans, lentils, grains and vegetables as they all contain the amino acids needed to build muscles.
Unlike animal proteins, plant proteins have a protective property due to their monounsaturated nature. Proteins are in all foods including pasta, rice, bread, milk, cheese, vegetables, legumes and yoghurts, to mention a few we use each week at John Colet School.
The average daily requirement of protein for 7-14yr old children is 0.9grams per kg of body weight. For example the largest 12yr old primary school student, weighing 40kg, would need 36grams of protein per day over all 5 meals, of which lunch is just one. So each meal should have approx. 7.5grams.
For some interesting information here are the protein levels in a few of our favourite foods,
1. Salad rolls – 8grs of protein
2. Saucy pasta – 8.5grs; Pasta Bolognese 11.4grs
3. Nachos – 11.8grs
4. Sausage rolls – 12.4grs
In addition, the students are regularly offered milk (7grs/cup), yoghurt (10gr/100gr) and bread and butter (11.8gr/100gr).
Our weekly menu may read simply but that is pure ‘marketing’. For instance, if I wrote chickpea and cottage cheese rolls (sausage rolls), red lentil and mixed vegetable pasta (saucy pasta) or mixed beans, lentils and vegetable stew (nachos) the children may not be as happy to eat it!!
With great pride, we deliver a balanced and healthy vegetarian meal on the budget we have every day.
Donna Moor
Fruit and veg platters like this are also provided each day at lunch.