Derbyshire County Council is promoting the quality of its school food and ‘Food for Life Served Here’ with a tasting programme during the autumn term. Each primary school will be offering free samples of food to parents and carers in the playground either before or after school.
The Food for Life Served Here programme is run by the Soil Association. The organisation has been working with school caterers across Derbyshire, supporting them to provide healthy school meals, great lunchtimes and food education that has a positive impact on both pupils and the wider community.
Hady Primary School in Chesterfield was one of the first schools to host a tasting session, which took place earlier in November. Parents were invited into the school hall to enjoy samples of tomato quiche, carrot cake and warm homemade rolls. It was a great success and shows the commitment of the school and the catering team working together.
“Our school catering service provides more than 50,000 meals across the county every day as part of its commitment to ensuring Derbyshire children have a happy, healthy start in life which also helps them to learn well,” says Carol Hart, health and communities councillor at Derbyshire County Council. “Our teams work hard to provide children with well-balanced, nutritious food and, with the help of the Food for Life programme, pupils are also learning about where their food comes from.”
Derbyshire County Council uses locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, including organic beef, MSC Certified fish and free-range eggs as part of the Food for Life Served Here scheme it supports. Food sourcing includes eggs and milk from Holdsworth Foods in Chesterfield, fruit and vegetables from John Palin and Tomson Buxton in Buxton, and Beef from Lowerhurst Organic.
Food for Life delivers a flexible, evidence-based programme that is proven to tackle health inequalities by integrating practical learning that reconnects children and young people to the food they eat, following the journey from field to plate.
Independent research highlights Food for Life’s potential to make a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of both pupils and parents. Pupils in Food for Life schools are twice as likely to eat five a day, and a third less likely to eat no fruit or vegetables than pupils in comparison schools. Furthermore, pupils in Food for Life schools eat around a third more fruit and vegetables than pupils in comparison schools, and significantly more fruit and vegetables at home. (Jones et al, 2015)