Eating well is important to help keep your body and mind in tip top shape this year.
On this page you will find regular nutrition updates and health information on our menu.


Our Menu Review Process

T4 2018 menu audit results

Did you know that each terms menu at Saint's gets reviewed... +

Did you know that each terms menu at Saint’s gets reviewed by our in-house dietitian? NZ Registered Dietitian Claire is our Nutrition and Food Quality Manager here at Saint’s and twice a year she undertakes a full nutrition audit of our menu.

What does this mean?

  • Quantity - She looks at the quantity of food we purchase to make sure it provides enough of the key food groups to keep you full and healthy.
  • Quality – She looks at the brands and cooking methods used to make sure ingredients are both nourishing, and taste delicious
  • Variety – She looks at each day’s meals, special dietary requirements, the full menu across each week and throughout consecutive weeks to make sure all meals are balanced and varied enough for you to enjoy a number of different dishes and get the benefits of nutrition from a wide range of sources.
  • Acceptability – She takes into account the specific needs of your age group and lifestyle, as well as the feedback you give us, to make sure the menu provides a good balance between what you need to eat and what you want to eat.

Here’s what she found:

Overall the Term 4 2018 menu for Saint’s offers students an excellent variety of dishes with a good range of options to meet nutrition requirements for all age groups.

  • The menu and portion sizes offered meets nutrition requirements for all food groups based on Ministry of Health Guidelines, including: grain foods, fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, and meat and meat alternatives.
  • A number of foodservice practices are being demonstrated such as heart healthy oils and spreads and iodised salt used in cooking, student feedback is utilised in menu design, takeaway meal options provide good flexibility and unhealthy cooking techniques such as deep frying is used minimally.
  • There is great dietary variety, with a number of different dishes using a range of cooking techniques.

Recommendations and key changes

A handful of nutrition recommendations were made, which led to the following revisions in our menu, including:

  1. Adding in alternative carbohydrate options such as brown rice, bulger wheat, rice noodles and buckwheat for variety and to increase fibre levels, keeping students fuller for longer.
  2. Take-away side salads now available for take-away lunches to increase vegetables throughout out day.
  3. Switching light blue top milk for yellow top milk, providing higher calcium levels. Achieving a good intake of milk and milk products is really important for growing teenagers as you are at an age whether you are still building peak bone density.
  4. The frequency of dairy based desserts has been increased, to help meet the higher requirements of dairy products needed for growing teenagers.
  5. Salad selection has been revised to ensure a protein based salad option is provided at each meal, to help vegetarian students meet their requirements, and provide a non-meat protein alternative for all students.

You asked, we listened

A number of changes have also been made based on your feedback, including:

  • Removing and reducing unpopular dishes
  • Replacing some processed meats with less processed alternatives
  • Adding in popular dishes more frequently and creating new dishes based on special requests


At Saint’s, we take menu planning seriously - to provide a great menu to suit a range of different ages, cultures, taste preferences, nutrition needs and special dietary requirements. We might not get it right every time, but with your feedback, the expertise of our chefs who have decades of menu planning experience, and assistance from our dietitian – we always aim for the best.

If you would like to read the full nutrition review of the T4 2018 menu, or have any comments on our foodservice, please get in touch via the feedback or contact page.


How to build the perfect plate

Are you getting it right?

Meal time at school is likely to be... +

Mealtime at school is likely to be a lot different than what you are used to at home. With a large variety of options, big quantities and a smorgasbord style of serving, it’s all too easy to overload your plate at the start of the servery and leave little room for the salad bar.

Sound familiar? Next time you are serving up, try to keep the Plate Model in mind to keep meals balanced.

What is a serve?

The plate model is a way to make sure we get the right proportions of each food group in our meals. To stay healthy, it’s important to keep our vege intake up where we can, which means modifying up the other food groups when needed.

What is a serve? Meal size will vary based on your indiv[][1]idual needs, but for a general, for dinner we should aim for two serves of vege, one serve of protein and one serve of carbohydrates when we build our plate.

PROTEIN Beef casserole or mince – ¾ cup (about the size of your fist) Fish fillet – size of your hand Roast beef / chicken / pork – Size and thickness of your palm Vegetarian sausages – 1 sausage

CARBOHYDRATES White rice – ¾ cup (about the size of your fist) Pasta – 1 cup (size of a cricket ball) Flat bread/ wrap – ½ medium size (same size as your smart phone) Potato – 1 medium size (about a handful)

VEGETABLES Raw leafy vegetables – 1 cup (two handfuls) Chopped vegetables – ½ cup (about the size of a tennis ball)


Ref: Healthy Food Guide


The low-down on sleep

Are you getting enough zzzzzzzzzz's?

Whether it's stress, screen time, an overactive mind... +

Whether it’s stress, screen time, an overactive mind, long work hours or a hectic lifestyle, we have all had times where getting to sleep (or staying asleep) has been difficult. Poor sleep is associated with a load of nasty side effects, including fatigue, impaired cognitive function, poor concentration, learning and memory difficulties, anxiety and irritability – not ideal when you are trying to learn!

Did you know?

  • Most of us will feel nice and refreshed after about 7-8 hours sleep per night. However everyone is different. Some people can function well with only 6 hours, while others will need 9-10. Having a good sleep routine is probably more important than focusing on the specific hours.
  • When we are tired, we stop producing Leptin, the hormone that makes us feel full. Therefore we feel more hungry, which can lead to weight gain longer term.
  • Many think poor sleep is a growing problem due to an increase in screen time. While the artificial light plays some effect, it is also to do with the interaction with the screen. Therefore watching a bit of Netflix is better than working on an email or scrolling through Facebook on your phone when it comes to better sleep.

Can’t sleep? Try these tips:

  • Get some sunshine in your day – Soaking up about 30mins of morning sunshine helps to produce melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycle.
  • Get into routine – Try to set a regular bed time and wake up time (at least during the week - weekends are for sleep in’s right?)
  • Keep sleep for night time – Try not to nap during the day. Sleeping during the day makes it harder to sleep at night, and the cycle goes on and on. If you need a nap, keep it to less than an hour
  • Bed is for sleep – Try not to use screens, work or eat in bed. If you are not asleep in 20 minutes, get up and do something quite and relaxing (no screens), before returning to bed.
  • Avoid a heavy or spicy meal within three hours of bedtime
  • Exercise during the day, but not within three hours of bedtime
  • Allow at least one hour of relax time to unwind before bed
  • Create the perfect sleep environment – keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet
  • Avoid clock watching overnight
  • Clear your mind – If your brain is going round and round, keep a notepad beside your bed and write your thoughts down to come back to in the morning.


Head to the following site for more information on nutrition, health and wellness