SCJ_May19

New Term, New Standards

With the introduction of new school food standards and Universal Infant Free School Meals, caterers have more challenges ahead of them. Mark Taylor, foodservice channel controller at Premier Foods, shares some tips on how caterers can ensure they start the new term on the right foot.

Careful planning

With healthier, more nutritious meals expected from school caterers, planning is key. Premier Foods has launched a Menu Solutions Guide which offers advice and recipe inspiration alongside useful new
products. Available to download via Premier’s website www.premierfoodservice.com, it includes a dedicated Back to School section with recipes.

Be on trend

Keep menus fresh and stay on trend with new ideas. The grab-and-go concept is predicted to be popular and grow in the new term. Derived from the high street, the grab-and-go option is an alternative to the hot meal menu in schools.

Make your menu mighty

Pupils returning from the summer holidays won’t want to be bamboozled with unfamiliar, complex or overly health conscious dishes so be sure to serve a wide variety of hot and cold dishes, plus vegetarian options. Recipes like vegetable paella or tuna cannelloni are simple, but healthy and a little more
adventurous. For dessert, anything yummy, but nutritious works. The new custard and rice Mini Pots from Ambrosia are perfect. Tasty and full of calcium and vitamin D. Mini Pots are an instant ambient dessert with minimal waste, which can be an issue in space-limited kitchens.

Educate the kids

Pupils are more likely to enjoy what they eat if they know more about it. Make an effort to explain to children that eating nutritious food will make them fit and strong like an athlete – and that higher fat foods will make them store fat and gain weight. Use the school newsletter to run a regular column on the kitchen and canteen. Having the chef discuss the menu or asking pupils for their opinion on the menu will get them interested – and have their tummies rumbling in no time! Or hold a theme day in the school canteen so pupils can chat to chefs and learn more about healthy eating. If kids are engaged in
what they eat, then they are more likely to be excited about their diet and make better choices.

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