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Cooking up a healthy future during National School Meals week

Published: 12 November 2019

It’s National School Meals Week and the spotlight is on the healthy, nutritious meals offered at schools across Derbyshire.

School children in front of school for life display
Our catering team has developed a range of school meals as part of the ‘Food for Life Served Here’ award.

Our catering team has developed a range of school meals as part of the ‘Food for Life Served Here’ award.

The award aims to provide nourishing meals that use tasty, locally sourced ingredients and ensures that all children have access to healthy meals.

All our primary schools meet the Silver standard of the ‘Food for Life Served Here’ award which aims to make healthier eating easy.

Across Derbyshire, almost 3,000 children entering reception and almost 4,000 children leaving year 6 in 2016 to 2017 were overweight or obese so it is important to help encourage healthy eating habits from an early age.

Our Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Carol Hart said:

“We’re doing all we can to ensure Derbyshire children are as happy and healthy as possible. “Our catering and Public Health teams are working hard to provide a good start for all children.

“With the help of the Food for Life programme, pupils are also learning about where their food comes from.”

As part of a wider programme we have provided £70,000 to continue supporting the Food for Life Awards programme. 

Funded by our Public Health department, the Food for Life programme is about much more than just the food on your plate.

It works to change the way we think about food by encouraging children to learn where their food comes from, how it is grown and how to prepare healthy, balanced meals.

Eighty-one Derbyshire schools have taken part in Food for Life Award so far. Independent evaluation of the programme shows that some of the benefits include:

  • pupils in Food for Life schools were twice as likely to eat 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables per day than those in comparison schools
  • pupils in Food for Life schools were around 40% more likely to ‘like’ or ‘really like’ school meals
  • pupils in Food for Life schools eat approximately a third more fruit and vegetables than those in comparison schools.
  • all primary schools are at the silver standard of the Food for Life Served here award