School meals week success 

School meals
Tucking in – (from left) Alisha Hogan aged 9, Fabrice Muamba, Zainuddeen Nasir aged 10, Paul Robinson, and Ellie Watkin aged 10.

Bolton Wanderers players kicked off National School Meals Week (November 7 to 11) in Bolton.

The week was organised by the Local Authority Caterers Association, and was supported by Bolton Council.

The council encouraged schools to join in to get more pupils in primary and secondary schools to have a healthy lunch.

Bolton Wanderers players Paul Robinson and Fabrice Muamba went back to school to launch the week at Beaumont Primary School.

The players spoke to children about the importance of healthy eating.

Robinson said: "As the father of four young boys it is important to me to know that they are receiving all of the nutrients they need through their school meals. It was very enjoyable and interesting to come along to Beaumont Primary School and learn more about National School Meals Week."

Muamba added: "School meals have developed so much since I went to school and it was interesting to speak to the school staff about the daily meals and the school meals week initiative.”

Each day had a different theme: Monday was Get Eating; Tuesday was Get Travelling; Wednesday was Get Creating; Thursday was Get 5-a-day, and Friday was Get Remembering.

St Thomas Chequerbent C of E Primary School, Molyneux Road and Gilnow Primary School put Italian dishes on the menu for the Get Travelling theme.

And the council encouraged schools to hold a 1940s theme for Remembrance Day.

The cost of school meals was cut to £1 last January for all primary pupils to encourage more children to enjoy a healthy hot lunch.

While the price went up in September to £1.25, Bolton’s school meals are still believed to be the lowest priced in the country.

The council is also recognised as one of the education catering industry’s best performers and has won several awards, including the Local Authority Caterer of the Year accolade last month.

Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Environmental Services, Councillor Akhtar Zaman, said: “This week was a good opportunity for our schools to get involved and we’re pleased that schools in Bolton supported it as it helps to promote healthy eating in a fun way.

“Our meals are excellent value and all school meals in Bolton are freshly prepared in the on-site school kitchens. Children who tuck into a school lunch enjoy healthy, tasty food and we’ve had feedback from parents that it gets children to try new foods at home as well.

“The aim of our discounted school meals promotion is to encourage more children to enjoy a healthy meal for a reasonable price. And as a result we have more children than ever before tucking into a hot dinner.”

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Salma Nakhuda
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