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New menus given thumbs up by Middlesbrough primary school pupils

A happy child enjoying their school dinner

Middlesbrough primary pupils have given the thumbs up to new and improved recipes on the dinner menu to help them be even better learners at school.

Revamped menus produced by Middlesbrough Council see an increase in fruit and vegetables, a reduction in sugary items and an introduction of vegan and plant-based options for those who want them – all without losing the old favourite school meal dishes.

Taking one day’s menu at random, children would have the option of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding or macaroni cheese with sides of broccoli, cauliflower and mashed potato with a dessert choice of sponge cake and custard, yoghurt or fresh fruit.

The head teacher at one of the town’s primary schools praised the new menus and their “healthy, tasty, nutritious” food.

Heather Adams, Head Teacher at Pallister Park Primary School, said: “Catering are offering healthy, tasty, nutritious food for our children that complies with the requirements for School Food Regulations.

“Middlesbrough Catering Team are working hard to promote good nutritional health for our pupils with the new menus. Our catering staff are working hard and doing a great job.”

The new menus are being introduced to fall in line with new national guidelines on nutrition.

However, they are also designed to help the children be healthier and happier and improve concentration levels in class.

Alternatively, children can visit the pasta bar, the salad bar or have jacket potato with filling or a sandwich, sub-roll or wrap, among other options.

Cllr Barrie Cooper, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “We are sure these new revamped menus will be popular with both children and their parents.

“They have been designed to improve the options available to our little learners and to make sure they are getting plenty of fruit and vegetables and a little less sugar, while also making sure all their favourites remain.

“Nothing could be more important than the health and education of our children and we look forward to welcoming the children back to school dinner halls across the town.”

School dinners have been evolving for a number of years. Changes brought in in 2015 mean by law children must be provided with high quality meat, poultry or fish, fruit and vegetables, bread, other cereals and potatoes.

It was also made compulsory that there must not be drinks with added sugar, crisps or chocolate and sweets in either meals or vending machines. Equally there cannot be more than two portions of deep-fried battered or breaded food a week.