Ask any adult about their clearest school-day memory and their answer will almost certainly include descriptions of soggy spaghetti, slimy sausages and lumpy mash. Ask any child what their favourite part of the school day is and the answer will probably be lunch. So if lunch is a highlight, why is it notoriously terrible?
With an air of optimism, we believe, or sincerely hope, this could be a thing of the past. Parents and children the length of Britain are indebted to tireless campaigner Jamie Oliver and thousands of dedicated school and government board members and dinner ladies, for ensuring that greasy gruel is a thing of the past. Although Jamie laments that his campaign has not been an overriding success, it has certainly brought widespread awareness of the issue to the general public.
Speaking to the Radio Times about his campaign for nutritional school menus, Jamie said: “I admit I haven’t succeeded, mainly because I haven’t single-mindedly gone for it.
“In Britain, eating well and feeding your kid right and being aware about food is all considered very posh and middle class, but the reality is that in most of Europe some of the best food comes from the poorest communities.”
Ten years on from the School Dinners campaign, Jamie has embarked on a new project to rid children’s diets of excess sugar.
“Sugar is such an innocent molecule, and yet its power and how it’s affecting public health is extraordinary.”
Good luck Jamie! The Quattro team supports you all the way.
We understand that good nutrition leads to better focus in class, improved grades and a healthy well rounded child. We take our role as a school food supplier very seriously and our food and menu development for schools is designed with Jamie’s recommendations in mind. One of our development chefs was instrumental in driving the menu changes through the education sector following Jamie’s original ‘turkey twizzler’ campaign, and has brought his experience to the Quattro kitchen.
“The turkey twizzlers turned into 100% meat goujons”, said Tony, our Development Chef. “It was all great fun and the pupils bought into it quite quickly, especially if you involved them in tasting panels!”
We all know that children perform better when their bodies and minds are powered by a balanced and nutritious diet. Every parent and teacher across the world will tell you that brain power, concentration and general wellbeing are unequivocally improved when kids eat decent meals, with lower fat, sugar and salt content. We also know it’s not easy to get fruit and veg into a child, but there are so many ways of making healthy food appealing and delicious.
One of the key influencing factors is to create a love of food and an understanding of where it comes from.
Recently the British government has put in place some interesting recommendations to schools, including The School Food Plan from the Department of Education, designed to support head teachers improve food in school.
The plan includes some key points:
- Cooking in the curriculum – this has become a statutory requirement as part of the Design & Technology curriculum
- School food ambassadors – giving pupils a voice on school food
- School meals, free school meals and universal infant free school meals – increasing uptake and optimising quality
- The School Food Standards (monitoring compliance) and the lunchtime experience
- Healthy packed lunches and packed lunch policies
- Breakfast & after school club food provision
- Growing food in schools and connecting pupils with where food comes from
- Completing the ‘Healthy Eating’ section of the School Health Check
Improving productivity and mood is something that all parents aspire to and at Quattro we offer school caterers the highest quality food products to help them make our kids smarter, healthier and happier.