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Healthier school meals

Published: 19 February 2018

Top of the class menu options for Surrey's school children

A transformed school meal menu has been given top marks for being even healthier than it was before. Surrey County Council's Commercial Services team has been awarded a Soil Association "gold food for life" catering standard, for its catering in 300 primary schools. The food development team has also been awarded a "Catey" award, one of the most prestigious awards in the UK hospitality industry, in recognition of the high-quality, ethically sourced food served to 55,000 pupils daily.

Healthier alternatives developed

Working closely with independent suppliers the team has created some healthier alternatives for the children. Turner's Dairies in the Sussex Downs replaced the sugar in their yoghurts with stevia - a natural plant based sweetener.

The team also worked with Marriage's Flour Millers in Essex to develop a new golden wholegrain flour for a range of breads and desserts which have reduced fat and sugar. This was a great way of introducing wholegrain cereal into the children's diets where wholegrain rice hadn't proved popular.

To reduce the menu's carbon footprint Meat Free Mondays were introduced getting more children eating a greater variety of vegetables, grains, pulses and plant-based food.

Other improvements are:

  • 90% of meals are cooked from scratch daily.
  • Never serving fish from the Marine Conservation Society Fish To Avoid List.
  • All meat, cheese and poultry is Red Tractor Farm Assured or Organic.
  • Food served is free from undesirable additives, trans fats and mechanically recovered meat.
  • 80% of food purchased is from the UK.
  • Fresh bread is baked daily on the premises.

So great news for these schools as it's a recognised fact that good nutrition positively affects children's IQ, learning, concentration and behaviour. So top marks all round!

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