What has changed?
School meals: now and then...
Remember sponge cake and pink custard?
Or the smell of boiled cabbage as you entered the dining room?
As parents, we all have different memories of school meal times, though pink custard still appears a firm favourite by many of us!
Thankfully for our children, lunch times have changed! Through the work we're doing at SFSS, we're giving our children a whole new, positive impression of school meals.
Our School Food Team came up with some key changes from their childhood experiences. What do your children think? It's interesting to compare notes!
1. Changes in the dining environment
Then: Dining areas were institutionalised. They had uniformed seating with no colour and felt basic and utilitarian.
Now: Environments are relaxed and social, bright, colourful and informative. Plus the equipment is much better.
2. The children have their say
Then: Never! No one dared to speak out about whether they liked the food; children were more accepting of their lunch.
Now: There are student and school councils to review children and young peoples’ thoughts on food provision and other issues; teachers and catering staff mix with children and exchange ideas; children are more vocal and confident that they will be heard. We undertake surveys and respect their views.
3. Healthier Options
Then: Higher fat and bulkier food; no highlighted menu options, no nutritional education or presentations; no thought given to wellbeing.
Now: Posters, leaflets and menus make children more aware of their lunch choices; the media and school curriculum educates our children to help them choose wisely. Government standards ensure healthy food provision meets strict nutritional standards and schools are all gearing up to achieve National Healthy School status.
4. Information - Helping you and your children make an informed choice
Then: Nothing was done. Food was never an issue.
Now: Our more sedentary lifestyle means that nowadays food and health is an issue. We need information on food and activity to help us to be healthy.
Menus are sent home, parents attend food tasting sessions, parents' evenings and presentations. There are posters and leaflets for further information and comes with more labelling. We are more aware of medical dietary requirements such as allergies and intolerances, and we also respect and try to meet different cultural dietary needs.
Page Last Updated: 11 October 2010