05 December 2007
A local council is leading the way in Wales to ensure children are served healthy and nutritious school meals.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s ‘Appetite for Life’ legislation aims to improve the nutritional content of the food and drink served in Welsh schools and Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Catering Service was invited to the recent launch event to share its good practice of healthy school dinners.
The authority, which uses locally sourced ingredients to prepare its school meals, is working in partnership with Caerphilly Health Alliance Nutrition Sub Group and one of its main priorities is to increase the uptake of fruit and vegetables by children.
Caerphilly Catering Services has taken action in furthering this aim by introducing the ‘Fruit & Veg of the Week’ scheme. Each week a different vegetable is promoted within the school meals menu, and every week a new fruit or vegetable will feature on the menu as a tasty new dish and the pupils will be encouraged to eat and learn more about them.
Over the last few years, the council’s catering service has also introduced the WAG Free Breakfast Initiative in the majority of its schools. The service is free to primary school pupils and is proving to be a hit with pupils and teachers alike, as not only are the children eating a sound nutritious meal at the start of the day, but teachers also find that their pupils are more settled and cooperative when starting their lessons.
Cabinet member Cllr David Hardacre said, “Schools are ideal places to encourage children to eat healthier options to help prevent childhood obesity and other health problems. Our experienced and fully trained catering staff support the county borough’s children to eat well by providing a healthy and tempting menu that meets the requirements of ‘Appetite for Life’.”
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