From education to employment

School Caterers Learn the Joys of Food, Glorious Food

School dinners have been high on the Government’s agenda, especially following Jamie Oliver’s campaign in March 2005 to improve healthy eating amongst children. In response, City & Guilds has launched the first nationally accredited award of its kind for school caterers.

The award ““ a Level 1 Award in Providing a Healthier School Meals Service – is a practical one-day course covering the essentials of a balanced diet and nutritional standards for nursery, primary and secondary school meals. Candidates will learn about the functions of major nutrients, composition of different foods commonly used in school meals and the practicalities of healthier catering. The course enables them to identify the necessary changes and develop attractive, innovative marketing ideas to persuade pupils to choose healthier options.

Ready, Steady, Cook!

General Manager for the services industry at City & Guilds, Sally Messenger, said: “City & Guilds would like to see more time given to developing cookery skills across all stages of education as we consider this to be an essential life skill.” Gary Rhodes, who is from the City & Guilds” alumni, supports the award. He has devoted his time and expertise generously in an attempt to make young people more knowledgeable about food and interested in cookery skills.

“It is important to understand young people’s attitudes towards food and eating at a time of rocketing obesity levels,” said Mr Rhodes. He commended the efforts of City & Guilds alongside Focus on Food’s hands-on cooking experiences in providing fast and effective training for healthier school meals.

Eating for Life

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It is extremely important for young people and schools” staff to realise the value of a balanced diet. Jamie Oliver’s research discovered that despite school dinners being the main meal of the day for many children, the nutritional content was poor. Establishing good eating habits early on in life will benefit the long-term well being of children.

Therefore Messenger believes a broader long-term strategy is required throughout the UK to halt soaring death rates caused by obesity. Since March 2005, the Government has unveiled a £280million package to improve the quality of school meals in England. They have promised that at least 50p per child would be spent on improving the food ingredients.

The Level 1 award will help any catering staff hoping to develop their career. It provides a step towards progressing onto City & Guilds” Hospitality and Catering NVQs. To find out more about the award email [email protected], phone 020 7294 2800 or click here.

Angela Balakrishnan

Food for thought”¦in the FE Blog

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