Fresh Food for Schools

Published: 6 Mar 2014

New guidance aimed at inspiring Scotland's children to make good food choices that will continue into adulthood has been published today. 
With today marking International School Meals Day, Better Eating, Better Learning sets out advice and support on how to improve school food, children's knowledge about food and its contribution to their overall health and well-being. 
The guidance has been developed by an expert working group in close partnership with COSLA and outlines the following: 
All food served in schools should promote healthy eating. 
School meals should champion fresh, local, seasonable produce. 
Caterers and teaching staff should collaborate on food education to improve the diets of children and young people. 
Everyone involved in school food provision should understand the need for inspiring menus which take into account nutrition, health and environmental impacts. 
Feedback from children and young people should inform school food and education. 
All staff involved in school food provision and food education should have the opportunity to undertake professional training in food, health, and the environment. 
Cabinet Secretary for Education Michael Russell said: 
"The Scottish Government is committed to providing high quality school meals and this new guidance sets out how we will go about achieving this. There has already been nutritional guidance in place for a number of years, but Better Eating, Better Learning aims to move beyond the simple health benefits, expanding the guidance out to the wider role of food, and particularly school food, in our society. 
"The Scottish Government is committed to giving our children the best start in life and how they eat at school forms a crucial part of a child's development, including how well they learn.  
Today's guidance strengthens our approach at a national level ahead of every P1-3 pupil being offered a school meal for free every day, which is also aimed at raising attainment." 
Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead said: 
"Alongside clear guiding principles on the role of food in health promotion, I am very pleased to see sustainability and the importance of local produce feature so heavily within Better Eating, Better Learning. 
"Scotland produces a wide variety of food and drink which is renowned across the world and at home and it's important that we provide our pupils with the best quality meals available. This new guidance is also an important food education tool as it will help children learn about where their food comes from, its journey from farm to plate and the importance of healthy eating." 
Charles Milne, Director, Food Standards Agency, said: 
"I am delighted to welcome publication of Better Eating, Better Learning. Schools have a pivotal role in providing food education in the broadest sense, as well as giving children and young people the opportunity to experience interesting, tasty and healthy food every day. Better Eating Better Learning makes it clear why school food really matters." 
Courtesy of Scotland Food and Drink: http://www.scotlandfoodanddrink.org/news/article-info/4964/fresh-food-for-schools.aspx

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