The benefits of
eating oily fish, especially for children and young people, have been well
documented. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (2014) concluded that
consumption of oily fish was well below the UK recommendations of at least one
portion (140g) per week across all age groups.
Oily fish contains
Omega 3 & 6 polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) – also known as essential
This means our
body cannot produce them naturally and therefore they must be present in the
foods we eat. Generally, Omega 3 is found in fish, while Omega 6 is found in
grains and nuts. Modern diets tend to be too high in Omega 6 and too low in
Both Omega 3 and 6
PUFAs are important in preventing heart disease, but they are also needed for
proper development of the brain.
Adults should aim
to have at least 250 mg/day of Omega 3 as part of their total daily fat intake.
The recommended daily amount (RDA) can be met by eating fish at least twice a
week, with one portion being oily fish.
Omega 3 can also be found in vegetable
oils, nuts, grains or seeds, however these are only ‘short chain’ Omega 3s.
Oily fish include fresh and canned salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines and fresh
Holroyd Howe have
a partnership with the Institute for Food, Brain and Behaviour. Using their research and guidance we have revised our nutritional guidelines, focusing on the
essential nutrients that affect brain development and behaviour in young
These guidelines form a practical menu planning tool for chefs across
our schools to use when creating their weekly menus. The guidelines recommend
the frequency of food items on a weekly menu and try to ensure that food we
should not be eating a lot of are restricted and foods we should be consuming
more of are promoted.
Within these guidelines we have recommended that oily
fish should be on a lunch menu once a week, and once a week on a supper menu.
This means we are proactively creating more opportunities for children to get
their Omega 3 intake.