Tasty tucker for school childrenPublished Wednesday, 2nd November 2016
School children and Council leaders tucked into tasty dishes at a Rotherham primary this week to showcase the many meal choices now available.
Gone are the days of lumpy custard and soggy semolina which some may remember. Instead children in Rotherham are served from menus which easily rival many local restaurants.
From quirky quiches to courgette croquettes the children can pick a varied menu to suit their tastes.
The meals are also nutritionally balanced with mixtures of vegetables, proteins, dairy and carbohydrates. On top of this, the Rotherham Council provided meals also have locally sourced produce, boosting the local economy while at the same time keeping costs down, with the savings passed onto parents.
At a cost of just £2.05, the meals cannot be beaten on value. A packed lunch which aimed to pack in as much in terms of balance would cost far more to produce.
Cllr Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Rotherham Council visited the borough's newest school – Eastwood Primary – on Monday to celebrate National School Meals Week.
He said: "Everyone knows the cost of living is rising and it can be hard for families to make ends meet and ensure their children are getting the most nutritionally balanced diets.
"That's why it is great to see the effort which has been put into getting school meals right here in Rotherham for our children. There is no doubt that having a good, wholesome hot meal in the middle of the day boosts brain cells and in turn aids learning.
"I would encourage all parents and carers to think about giving their children a school meal a day. They can be sure that by having a school lunch their child is getting delicious, wholesome food and less of the junk.
"On top of this the whole school approach leads to a fun, bustling dining hall where children get to enjoy a hot tasty meal with their friends. Even the fussiest of eaters will start to try new food when they see their friends eating it"
Cllr Watson added it was also essential that parents and carers who are entitled to free school meals make sure their schools know they are entitled – even if they do not claim the meal. School budgets, many of which are facing a squeeze, depend on the funding this brings in.
It is especially hard for infant schools to bring in these funds as children in Foundation Stage, Years One and Two are all entitled to free school meals regardless of family income through the Universal Infant Free School Meal initiative (UIFSM).