Healthy school dinners bag Glasgow City Council an award

Healthier freshly made school dinners have bagged Glasgow City Council an award.

The award was presented by the Soil Association.

Every day 34,000 school meals are served in Glasgow – and 75 per cent of dishes are freshly prepared from unprocessed ingredients.

Kitchens have been transforming school menus so kids have less red meat, little sugary treats and more vegetables and fruit. Free range eggs and higher welfare meat form part of the fresh, local and sustainable food served up.

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And the work has now seen the council land a bronze Food for Life Served Here award from the Soil Association.

The council’s head of catering and facilities management Stephen Sawers said: “Our main aim is to make Glasgow a healthier city. We get the opportunity to provide a balanced meal for children.

“If we can instil great habits in children there is an opportunity that it will continue into adulthood.”

He said there is a drive to encourage pupils to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Mr Sawers said: “We don’t underestimate the challenge. We don’t see this is an award – we see it as recognition we are on the right track.”

Mr Sawers said he is delighted with the accreditation and praised the partnership working with the Soil Association and education teams.

School meals are free from trans fats, sweeteners and additives, and use ingredients from sustainable and ethical sources.

Local suppliers include McLays Foods, based in Glasgow.

Applauding the efforts in Glasgow, Sarah Duley, head of food, Food for Life Scotland said: “They use vegetables from the Glasgow fruit market and serve fresh home made soup every day – giving an opportunity for seasonal and local vegetables.”

Ms Duley added: “The scale that has happened in Glasgow is amazing. They have made substantial changes to their menu. Higher welfare meat is being used.”

Councillor Chris Cunningham, city convener for education, skill and early years, Glasgow City Council said: “We are delighted to have received this external recognition for our continued commitment to providing the best possible school meals.

“It’s extremely important that our children and young people are given the opportunity of a healthy, nutritious and more sustainable lunch.

“This makes for better concentration, better learning and it means that the food our children are eating is full of goodness and sourced from local providers to help in tackling climate change.”

Mairi Gougeon, rural affairs secretary, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in achieving this significant milestone. The Food for Life programme has made a big difference to the lives of many young people across the country and as Scotland’s largest local authority, Glasgow City Council’s participation will have a huge impact on pupils and local producers.

“It will also contribute to our wider goals of becoming a good food nation, reducing inequality, and achieving net zero emissions by 2045.”