Welcome to June
The first thousand days of a child’s life are the most important when it comes to laying the foundations of healthy eating for life, according to research by Oxford University’s Intergrowth-21st Project. Ideally children need to be introduced to a variety of different tastes from the cradle onwards.
But permissive parenting combined with lack of knowledge about food nutrition, means many infants turn up at school prepared to eat only a breathtakingly narrow range of foods. When they say, “I don’t like that,” they really mean, “I don’t know that food.” This is why programmes such as TastEd, now established as a charity, are so important.
The programme is based upon the Sapere Method and was brought to the UK by food author Bee Wilson and Jason O’Rourke, head of Washingborough Academy, of whom we at EDUcatering are long-standing admirers. It has been introduced and fine-tuned in Jason’s own school and allows children to respond to many different foods – mostly fruit and vegetables – with all five senses. It really works, is a lot of fun and has already been adopted by secondary schools in the Cambridge area. Read more about in on page 20. It could be the additional weapon you need in the fight against childhood obesity and ill health.
It’s also that time of the year again when our thoughts inevitably stray to LACA and its forthcoming Main Event at Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 10-12 July. Please read our preview of both the event and exhibitors which starts on page 35. The undoubted star attraction in my view is the redoubtable Prue Leith, a long-standing and sometimes controversially outspoken champion of school meals. It is also good to see the issue of single-use plastics is rising up the agenda. While many exhibitors will be flexing their 'woke' credentials on this front, Liz Bonnin, host of BBC landmark TV documentary Drowning In Plastic will reinforce the urgent need to do still more.
Lastly, but not least, please don’t forget to reward your team or an individual for a job well done. Yes, it’s also time to think about nominating colleagues for our 2019 EDUcatering Excellence Awards
. Showing appreciation of great work is everything – more important sometimes than a pay rise. For details go to page 32 and discover how easy we’ve made the nomination process.
Jane Renton | Executive Editor