UPDATED: Healthy start to 2015 for Ravenscliffe pupils

The launch of School Food Standards, with Ravenscliffe High School chef Tony Mulgrew.
The launch of School Food Standards, with Ravenscliffe High School chef Tony Mulgrew.

Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College kickstarted the new term with a new, healthy food menu.

Pupils enjoyed some tasty, nutritional meals to mark the introduction of new school food standards.

Acclaimed cook and school catering manager Tony Mulgrew, who has helped to create the new standards, served up nutritious canteen cuisine to celebrate their introduction.

The standards set out a series of minimum requirements for all food served in school to ensure children are eating high quality, nutritious meals.

They include, one or more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment every day, at least three different fruits, and three different vegetables each week, an emphasis on wholegrain foods, an emphasis on making water the drink of choice, as well as limiting fruit juice, portions to 150mls and restricting the amount of added sugars or honey in other drinks to five percent, no more than two portions a week of food that has been deep-fried, batter-coated and no more than two portions of food which include pastry each week.

He said: ““For me it’s the little things that can make a big difference,” explained Tony. “A salad can be pretty bland if all you’re offering is a few lettuce leaves, tomatoes and a bit of grated carrot.

“So why not different beans and low-fat dressings for flavour, and vibrant peppers for colour.

“It transforms the dish and makes it both tastier and more visually appealing.

“The same principle applies for pasta and side dishes, where you can use herbs for flavour instead of salt.

“Another key thing is to establish a quality local supply chain for fresh meat and produce.

“Not all schools are as blessed as we are at Ravenscliffe in that regard, but I can guarantee there will be local farmers and the like who are happy to help, often at a fantastic price.”

School head, Martin Moorman, added: ““Our school has a great team of staff who have collectively committed their time and energy, backed by significant financial investment from the school, to offering our students the best possible lunchtime and food experience.

“We welcome the introduction of the new Food Standards as they have helped to cement our passion for healthy, sustainably sourced and tasty food. We believe that academic achievement is directly linked to the quality of food that our students eat, so it is really important that they have the very best possible mealtime experience.

“That will always remain a key focus of our work at Ravenscliffe.”

The new standards, created as part of the School Food Plan, will ensure that school food is healthy and nutritious.

They will give greater creative freedom to school chefs to adapt the menu to children’s preferences and create dishes to suit their talents.

Acclaimed school cook Tony Mulgrew, the catering manager at Ravenscliffe High School and

It is hoped that the changes will create positive eating habits to help improve concentration and performance in the classroom.

The standards will be mandatory in all maintained schools, new academies and free schools from this week.