Two Food for Life schools have been featured in a series of Childhood Obesity Plan case studies as positive examples of the progress being made across the country to improve children’s nutrition, health and wellbeing.
Charlton Manor Primary School, which achieved the prestigious Food for Life Gold Schools Award in 2014, was recognised for the high quality, locally sourced ingredients used in school meals, a ‘from farm to fork’ approach to food and a new and improved dinner service.
The newly refurbished dinner centre, Charlton Manor Restaurant, has a variety of freshly prepared healthy food, encouraging children to try new foods, serving homemade soup made from the vegetables that are grown in the school’s secret garden. The school’s approach to parental engagement was also cited; Charlton Manor’s healthy dinner club allows parents to study with their children and then cook and eat a nutritious meal in the teaching kitchen.
Food for Life Silver School Awards holder, the Washingborough Academy, was showcased for its use of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and dedication to growing. The school has its own allotments and raised vegetable beds where children grow their own food, as well as a Heritage Orchard with 22 varieties of apple. A new beehive allows honey to be produced on site and a pizza oven means that children can make fresh pizzas with produce from the allotments.
A ‘Food Glorious Food Cooking Scheme’ teaches children at Washingborough cooking skills and growing methods, and regular updates are posted on social media. These feature the school’s local and organic meals, sharing recipes learnt at school where parents can see what’s on offer and recreate recipes at home with their children.
The Soil Association’s Out to Lunch campaign was also highlighted for its work to improve the food and service offered to families on the high street.
With the help of a team of ‘secret diner’ parents, Out to Lunch has compiled a league table, ranking 21 of Britain’s top high street chains.
As a result of the campaign there are:
- more healthy options on offer - more chains are now serving a portion of veg or salad with every meal and fewer chains are offering refillable sugary drinks
- more sustainable options on offer - more chains now include information on ingredient sourcing on the menu
- more chains serving sustainable fish
- more than 6 million improved meal options served in participating restaurant chains last year.
Out to Lunch has worked closely with high street chains Harvester, Prezzo, Strada and Giraffe to develop their children’s menu and service. Harvester has since removed refillable soft drinks and has introduced healthy eating guidance on the menu. Prezzo has introduced a chicken salad and now offers fresh fruit for pudding. Strada now offers a salad with every main, a fresh fruit pudding and the option of choosing smaller portions of adult meals. Café Rouge has stopped promoting refillable sugary soft drinks on the children’s menu.