Five Croydon primaries hit gold standard for school dinners

Five Croydon schools have achieved the Soil Association’s Food for Life Catering Gold standard for their healthy and wholesome school dinners.

The Pabulum Catering team sourcing fresh ingredients for use in school dinners

The Pabulum Catering team sourcing fresh ingredients for use in award-winning school dinners

The schools receiving the award are All Saints Primary, Cypress Infants and Junior schools, Downsview Primary and Rockmount Primary.

The school meals at the schools are provided by Pabulum Catering.

One of the main requirements for Food for Life Gold is 75 per cent homemade food; Pabulum achieved 94 per cent. Pabulum does not use frozen meat and 19 per cent of its budget is spent on organic food.

Lucy O’Brien, the catering manager at Rockmount, said, “Some big changes had to take place in our school food purchasing and management processes to enable us to achieve the Gold Food for Life accolade. However, as a caterer, cluster and individual school we were determined to achieve this standard as it recognises our dedication to providing young pupils with the highest quality meals made from the freshest ingredients.

“The Pabulum development chefs work with all school cooks to create healthy meals that will appeal to young people and give them lots of energy for afternoon lessons.”

Pabulum boss Nelson Williams: school meals are increasingly important for our children

Pabulum boss Nelson Williams: school meals are increasingly important for our children

Nelson Williams, the managing director at Pabulum Catering, said, “More than 2,000 pupils are benefiting from these Gold standard school meals. It is fantastic to see all the hard work from our team and these schools being recognised.”

Recent research conducted by YouGov showed that 70 per cent of people prefer their child to have a school meal that had a good selection of menu items that are prepared from mainly fresh ingredients and will help the child be more attentive in class.

Williams said, “It was really refreshing to see the percentage of parents backing school meals at a time when many children are trying them for the first time with the introduction of Universal Infant Free School meals. A recent study from the School Food Plan highlighted that school meals provide 25 per cent to 33 per cent of a child’s nutrition needs for a day, so it’s vital parents are seeing school meals as the first choice.

“We’ve worked hard to create awareness with parents on our fresh ingredients and how we opt for quality ingredients and will continue to work with these Croydon schools to educate children and their families on healthy lifestyles.”

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