Back to school with award winning meals
Highland Parents are being urged to ditch the packed lunch and give their children great Food for Life
Highland Council has achieved the Soil Association’s Silver and Bronze Food for Life Served Here award for serving fresh and healthy meals in Highland schools and nurseries. The Silver award schools and nurseries are Cradlehall, Drakies, Holm, Lochaline, Rosebank and Smithton while all other schools and nurseries have the Bronze Award.
The Food for Life Served Here award is a widely respected scheme, supported by the Scottish Government, which is raising standards of food quality, provenance and sustainability in public and private sector catering. It provides an independent endorsement that caterers are taking steps to improve their food, through meeting standards on nutrition, freshness, sustainability and animal welfare.
Highland Council’s catering service is proud to provide good value meals using quality ingredients carefully sourced. The following regularly appear on menus:
- beef, pork, lamb and venison from John M Munro, Highland Butcher;
- Highland free range eggs; and
- local fruit and vegetables from Swansons Fruit Company, Inverness.
Highland serves 18000 lunches per day in 173 primary and 29 secondary schools. They update their menus every 6 months and consult with pupils and staff to improve the food choices and recipes. The menus offer a choice of freshly cooked, nutritionally balanced meals and include many favourites. Seasonal meals are offered where over 75% of the menu is freshly prepared with ingredients that are GM free, with no undesirable E numbers or hydrogenated fats.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Council’s Places Committee said:
“Congratulations to the staff of Highland Council’s catering service for all their hard work and dedication. I have always been a huge fan of the excellent meals that our catering service provides in Highland schools. They provide quality food that is carefully planned to provide the best possible nutrition for our children in Highland.”
Cllr Alasdair Christie, Chair of the Council’s People Committee added: “I urge all parents who have children starting nursery or P1 this year to instil in them the healthy habit of eating school meals. Start the way you mean to go on - don’t waste your time and their future health by giving them unhealthy packed lunches – give them school meals always and you’ll be certain to give them great Food for Life.”
Commenting on their achievement, Sue Nield, Highland Council’s Catering Services Manager says:
‘We’re delighted to have retained and expanded our Silver and Bronze Food for Life Served Here awards. We’ve always strived to serve fresh and nutritious good value meals using quality ingredients carefully and where possible locally sourced and this award recognises our commitment. We’re already thinking about how we can work towards expanding our Silver awards.”
Angela Mitchell, Acting Director, Soil Association Scotland said:
“We’re delighted that Highland Council has renewed their Food for Life Served Here awards at Silver level and Bronze level for their primary school meals service. Their award now also covers the 58 nurseries that are fed by adjoining primary schools which means 10,000 meals a day are being served and pre-school age children are also now eating healthier, sustainable meals every day. Local supplier Swansons supports five primary schools across Inverness and Lochaline Primary School to achieve the silver award by providing organic carrots and organic milk from Graham’s Dairy.
“These awards are a testament to the hard work of catering staff and demonstrate a continued commitment to providing fresh and healthy school food, whilst also supporting local producers, and using organic and ethically sourced ingredients. We look forward to continuing to support Highland Council on their journey to make good food the easy choice in the dining hall as well as beyond the school gates.”
Free school meals are provided for Primary 1 to 3 pupils – details on how to obtain these and for other information on Highland school meals visit the council’s website at: www.highland.gov.uk/schoolmeals