SB Connect Winter 2016

Healthy school meals using local products

Members of the task force – a group of councillors, council staff and school cooks – have been working with teachers, parents and pupils and even visiting schools and eating school dinners themselves.

Proposals agreed include:

  • investment in school kitchens to provide freshly cooked food onsite where economically viable

  • improving the quality of food and using taster sessions to check progress and encourage take-up

  • adding a ‘packed lunch’ option where parents can purchase a healthy packed lunch rather than making one at home

  • more encouragement for pupils to try healthy eating

  • the improvement of school dining facilities to make them more attractive to pupils – trialling ideas such as a ‘coffee corner’ for fifth and sixth year pupils, pasta bars and sandwich bars

  • to provide a balanced approach and introduce incentives for pupils

  • to use the school canteen instead of high street outlets considering flexible lunch breaks to reduce overcrowding

  • looking at systems which restrict high school pupils from leaving school at lunch time

  • monitoring food wastage and looking at measures to reduce it in order to reduce costs and minimise waste

  • looking at the procurement of food to maximise value for money.

A total of £366,000 has already been invested in fitting-out school kitchens. These new proposals will identify future investments. The rise in production kitchens is expected to save £60,000 per year from increasing efficiency through stopping the purchase of frozen ready meals.