Focus: The school food fit

LACA and Heniz have been busy recently, looking at how children can engage more with school meals...

Heinz has released a new guide revealing how parents, teachers and schools can deliver nutritious and exciting meals to school children. Fit 4 Future shows that 43% of school children aged six to 16 ‘like’ their school lunches, 17% ‘love’ them and 32% think they’re ‘okay’.

Children are also more interested in their food than ever before – they want to be kind, do good and look after our planet. And 52% of them would like their school to recycle more to help the planet.

The research, which features a Onepoll survey of 1,000 parents of children aged six to 16 in the UK, highlights that there’s room for improvement. Some 47% want more menu options, 33% want better quality food, 25% want to try new tastes and flavours from around the world, and 20% want more veggie and vegan menu options. 

Claire Traynor, head of foodservice UK&I for Kraft Heinz, said: “The guide underlines the opportunity to meet the needs of parents and school children. In line with the National Food Strategy, now is the time to create a food system that restores our health and the environment and ensures all children get the nutrition they need.

“Heinz is committed to partnering with educational institutes in ongoing research and supporting their food health objectives. The Fit 4 Future research findings will help parents, teachers and catering decision-makers in schools provide nutritionally balanced and healthy options for children’s school menu choices.” 

The guide features advice and top tips for schools, plus lots of great recipe ideas to eat healthy with Heinz. Hot on the heals of this activity, the Local Authority Catering Association (LACA) recently launched two new promotional activities for the summer term to encourage children back to eating hot lunches. The two themes will complete the promotional calendar for this school year, with more being launched imminently for the new term starting in September. 

Walk to School Week encourages children (and parents) to get active. This is an excellent promotion to run as the spring weather starts to warm up. It gives freedom to create a menu of dishes that will give children energy to go about their school day, fuel learning and walk to and from school.

The second activity is a fun seaside special. Children love a trip to the coast so creating a menu around this will be popular. June and July is an excellent time to run this, especially during a time when children might switch to a packed lunch.

Both promotions have free downloadable resources in English and Welsh for caterers to personalise and print as required. All are designed to provide a readymade promotional calendar to run alongside events already planned. The promotions can be added into the calendar easily. For example, Seaside Special could be part of a Fish Friday.  

Keep visiting for the latest information on LACA’s calendar of events and National School Meals Week 2021.

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