Making school meals healthy and fun

Picture caption (l-r): "Helen Yafet, Lionel Cerberak and Mehvish Rafiq from Harehills Primary School - who use a family style service where older children serve the school dinners to the younger ones."
Children across Leeds are being invited to design their own healthy and fun school lunch as part of a competition run by Catering Leeds for National School Meals week.

Leeds City Council’s catering team, Catering Leeds, is asking all schools in the city to get involved in the competition which could see one pupil’s meal be included on the menu for all schools who are catered for by the service.

National School meals week is now in its 20th year and this year’s theme is celebrating all that is great about school lunches.

The children will complete a fun activity sheet which will help their understanding of a great school lunch as the children get to design their own idea for a school meal. There are three prizes up for grabs:

1st prize: A class trip for 60 children to the Stockbridge Technology Centre to learn about food production

2nd prize: Either a cookery demonstration for parents on how to make great, healthy food on a budget or a cookery lesson for children from Catering Leeds’ Executive Chef.

3rd prize: £100 towards equipment and seeds to kick start a ‘Growing Club’ in school.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “The competition is a great way for children and young people to get involved in school meals and gives them the opportunity to have a say over what they would like to see on the menu.
“Nutrition plays a vital role in young people’s well-being and how they perform at school. I would encourage more pupils to think about having school meals as they really do make such a difference to the school day.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said: “The work being done by our catering service to increase the uptake of school meals is fantastic. They encourage schools to look beyond lunchtime and include healthy food and nutrition in the whole school day by promoting growing clubs whose produce is then used in the school kitchen.

“School meals week is a great opportunity to further demonstrate the great work the team do to make school meals interesting, healthy and fun.”

Margaret Broughton, head teacher of Harehills primary school said:

"Here at Harehills, we believe that school meals are an important part of our learning curriculum. Through family service our childrne learn to be a family where older chidlren take care of the younger younger children on their table daily. Serving food and supporting each other."

Catering Leeds is at the forefront of school meals provision, with two members of the team being part of an expert panel which developed the national ‘School Food Plan’, which was unveiled in July.

Myles Bremner, director of the School Food Plan visited Leeds during National School Meals week to discuss how Leeds can further contribute towards meeting the School Food Plan and its objectives.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk