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Changes planned to make secondary school food healthier

31 August 2010

From September, secondary students in Jersey are to have more healthy food options in school.

The new school term will see a number of new initiatives to change and improve the secondary school meal service, including the introduction of Jersey School Food Standards. This will ensure the quality of food served in all Island schools reflects the principles of a healthy, balanced diet. The standards will be phased in over a 3 year period and, in consultation with students, will gradually replace deep-fried foods, crisps and confectionary with enjoyable, healthy options.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr Rosemary Geller, said “Providing healthy food in schools is vital if we are to be an Island that prioritises our children’s health. Giving students the opportunity to choose freshly prepared, nutritious and balanced school meals will hopefully foster an enjoyment of healthy food that will encourage young people to continue to eat in the same way throughout their lives.”

As part of these changes, the meal service contracts for Haute Vallée, Les Quennevais, Hautlieu, Grainville and Highlands College were put out for tender as one unit when their current contracts came up for renewal. Following a competitive tendering process, the contract for these sites has been won by Jersey Pottery. They will run the school meal service at these schools for the next 3 years.

Director of Education, Sport and Culture, Mario Lundy, said “Good school food doesn’t just help to teach pupils about making healthy food choices, it’s also important for their performance both inside and outside the classroom. Research is emerging that shows links between diet, learning and behaviour. We all want to give students the best chance to fulfil their potential, and helping them to make sensible choices about what they eat is a crucial part of the equation. We’re delighted to be working with Jersey Pottery to introduce new measures for improving our secondary school meal service.”

A number of other initiatives have also been planned to improve the school dining experience. For example, all school catering staff have been encouraged to attend a training course designed to highlight the new Jersey School Food Standards and the role they will play in providing a healthy, balanced diet for students. The course also explains how to market healthier food options to students.  

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