School dinners just got tastier

editorial image

Cumbernauld and Kilsyth primary pupils are being offered what’s claimed to be a tasty new lunch menu, in a pre-Christmas drive to boost take-up.

During the period 2013-2014 under half of primary children were taking school meals, but North Lanarkshire Council hopes this will increase next year when free meals for all P1 to P3s takes effect.

Meanwhile pupils are being offered what’s argued to be “a wide variety of delicious food to tempt even the pickiest eater”.

The new menu includes soup and starters, hot and cold snacks, main meals, vegetarian dishes, salads, desserts and drinks. Packed lunches are also available, either to eat in school or take out.

Environmental services convener Councillor Helen McKenna said: “With sandwiches from 90p and a main meal for £1.30, parents can make sure their kids have a healthy and nutritious lunch that’s value for money.

“Eating a nutritious lunch has been shown to help children’s concentration in class, and our new winter menu is designed to offer healthy, balanced meals.

“We are constantly improving our menus and cooking methods to take account of nutritional guidance and best practice.

“For example, we’ve reduced the amount of salt, fat and sugar in meals, use baking, grilling and steaming to cook food, and we provide free wholemeal bread to increase children’s fibre intake.”

From January, all pupils in P1 to P3 will be entitled to a free school meal. Parents will be given details in due course.