A lesson in healthy eating
PUBLISHED: 14:21 25 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010
THE Government, which this week announced plans to improve meals and nutrition in education, has been trumped by at least one school in Comet country. From September school dinners in England will no longer include low-quality meat, fizzy drinks, crisps a
THE Government, which this week announced plans to improve meals and nutrition in education, has been trumped by at least one school in Comet country.
From September school dinners in England will no longer include low-quality meat, fizzy drinks, crisps and other junk food.
However Woolenwick Infant and Nursery School in Bridge Road West, Stevenage, already provides nutritious meals to pupils.
Youngsters are taught how to grow their own vegetables to be used in the kitchen and the school buys quality meat from local butchers.
Because the school works independently from Hertfordshire Catering, the company which provides food services to approximately 485 schools in the county, its staff can be more flexible with its menus.
According to Hertfordshire County Council the menus used by the catering company are changed twice a year, usually in February and October.
But because Woolenwick employs independent cooks the menus can be changed depending on the seasons and the ingredients available to them.
Deputy headteacher Tina Jarman said the way the school operates gives great flexibility to the way meals are prepared.
She said: "All food is fresh produce and we have our own garden where we grow our own vegetables which allows children to understand what they are eating.
"That way they will enjoy their meals even more and they can be proud that they have taken part in preparing it."
Lynne Taylor, the cook manager, heads a team of two who provide meals for at least 80 pupils each day.
Mrs Taylor starts at 8am by preparing the food that will be eaten at noon. Children are only allowed seconds if it consists of vegetables or fruit.
She said: "I tend to cook the way I was brought up, using real vegetables and almost no pre-cooked food. I don't have a fryer and so most food is oven baked. It's hard work but it feels a lot, lot better."
The county council believes it is already ahead of the game when it comes to providing countywide nutritional meals.
A spokesman said: "'We welcome the issue of nutritional standards from the Government - Hertfordshire has already moved a long way towards these goals and looks forward to receiving the detail so we can fine-tune our menus.
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