Chapel St Leonards Primary School have been awarded a rating of 5 out of 5 for their Food Hygiene score, complimenting the excellent work of newly appointed School Cook Mrs Richardson and her team.
The scoring system from the Food Standards Agency covers:
- the handling of food
- how food is stored
- how food is prepared
- cleanliness of facilities
- how food safety is managed
The school have recently started freshly preparing their school dinners on site with an array of meal choices from lasagne to roast dinners to sweet and sour chicken on offer throughout a three-week cycle. Pupils also have access to a salad bar where they can choose their healthy side, followed by various options of yoghurt and fruit for dessert.
School dinners are free for Reception to Year 2 pupils and have to meet nutritional standards. This ensures that key nutrients such as zinc, iron, fibre and Vitamin C feature prominently, whilst bread, potatoes and high-quality meats, poultry and oily fish are regularly included as meal options.
Headteacher Graham Almond commented: ‘We are really pleased to have been awarded the highest standard of food hygiene rating possible. Mrs Richardson does a great job not only making sure that these standards are kept to but also prepares delicious home-cooked meals every day.
We have made some changes recently so that children have access to salad daily and fresh fruits and yoghurts that they can help themselves too.’
An array of options throughout the week allows pupils to experience a range of tastes and textures, influencing a wider range of food acceptance throughout childhood and adulthood. The importance of which is underlined by ‘Children and Taste Research’, as seen on BBC’s Horizon documentary, ‘The Truth About Taste’…
Children experience taste more intensely, both physiologically and psychologically, than adults. Some young people are more sensitive to tastes and textures, whilst others experience high levels of neophobia – a fear of new foods. Such trepidation can continue into adulthood, causing reluctance to try new foods, especially fruit and vegetables.
Influences on taste and food acceptance derive from a variety of factors during infancy. Exposure to the diet of the mother in the womb, variation of foods experienced during weaning and parental consumption of healthy foods during the toddler years are all considered important components.
Parents are encouraged to persist with their attempts to offer new foods, particularly those that are described as ‘middle of the road’ preference. It is estimated that it takes 8-15 exposures (seeing, smelling and tasting) for such foods to be accepted.
Promoting a variety of food intake relies on not being too pressurising or too permissive about tasting new products. Parents are encouraged to model intake, prompt children to taste new foods, provide a positive climate during mealtimes and use small rewards for trying new foods.