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Publication - Guidance

Healthy eating in schools: a guide to implementing the nutritional requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008

Published: 17 Sep 2008
Part of:
Education, Farming and rural, Health and social care
ISBN:
9780755958306

Guidance on implementing the nutritional requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008.

92 page PDF

367.7kB

92 page PDF

367.7kB

Contents
Healthy eating in schools: a guide to implementing the nutritional requirements for Food and Drink in Schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008
Section 5: Practical guidance on foods not covered by the food standards for school lunches

92 page PDF

367.7kB

Section 5: Practical guidance on foods not covered by the food standards for school lunches

Not all foods are covered by food standards for school lunches.

However, a wide variety of foods are necessary for the achievement of a healthy balanced lunch that meets the nutrient standards as set out in section 2.

Therefore, this section provides practical guidance and recommendations on a wide range of other foods not covered by the food standards.

Foods and drinks provided as part of the school lunch menu must be entered as part of the nutrient analysis to ensure the menus comply with the mandatory nutrient standards. Please refer to the guidance manual on how to conduct the nutrient analysis. 10

Table 4: Practical guidance

Starchy foods

Why?

  • Starchy foods such as bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, oats, noodles, maize, millet, cornmeal and other cereals are an important part of a healthy diet, and every school lunch should contain at least one serving of starchy food.

In a balanced diet, starchy foods should make up about a third of the food we eat.

They provide energy, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Pupils should be encouraged to fill up on these foods.

1. Sandwiches and baked potatoes

  • Use different varieties of bread for sandwiches and try to use wholemeal breads as much as possible to boost the fibre content. Make sandwiches with thicker sliced bread.
  • Limit the number of fillings prepared using mayonnaise.
  • If using mayonnaise as a binding agent, for example in tuna mayonnaise, use only small amounts and use lower fat/sodium varieties. Low fat yoghurt may be mixed with the mayonnaise to create a lower fat and sodium binding agent.
  • Incorporate salads and vegetables into sandwiches fillings, e.g. tuna and peppers, chicken and sweet corn, as well as including salad.

Using a range of different breads especially wholemeal varieties increases dietary variety
and nutrients.

Sauces and dressings are often high in fat and salt.

2. Pasta, rice and noodle dishes

  • Use a variety of starchy foods to provide a good selection of dishes on offer.
  • Ensure sauces and dressings are low in fat and low in salt. Limit use of mayonnaise where possible.
  • Add a selection of fruit and vegetables.

Milk and milk products

Why?

  • Most school lunches should contain a serving or servings of food from this group.

Milk and milk products are an excellent source of several nutrients including protein, vitamins and calcium, important for good bone development.

Lower fat milks contain less saturated fat.

Milk

  • Lower fat milks, in line with those specified under the drinks standards, are encouraged for cooking.

Refer to the drinks standards on page 41 for details on the types of drinking milk that can be served in schools.

Yoghurt and fromage frais

  • There are many types of yoghurts and fromage frais available and the fat and sugar content of these products varies. Choose the lower fat and lower sugar varieties.
  • Low fat plain yoghurts or fromage frais can be sweetened by adding fresh or dried fruit.
  • Yoghurts containing confectionery, e.g. chocolate-coated balls/flakes are not permitted throughout the school day.

    Refer to the drinks standards on page 41 for details on what types of drinking yoghurts can be served in schools.

Yoghurt and fromage frais contains calcium which is important for good bone development.

Cheese

  • Cheese can be served as a main protein item instead of meat or fish but should be limited to twice a week if it is the only vegetarian option.
  • You should try to use lower fat and sodium cheeses, e.g. when serving cheese with crackers/oatcakes, as part of a salad or as a filling for sandwiches or baked potatoes.

Cheese provides protein and calcium but is also a source of salt, fat and especially saturated fat.

Meat, fish and alternatives
(e.g. eggs, beans and pulses)

Why?

  • Every school lunch should contain a serving of food from this group.

Meat, fish and alternatives such as eggs, beans and pulses are important sources of protein, iron and zinc. These help to promote growth in children.

Meat - all types including beef, pork, lamb and poultry

  • Red meat (e.g. beef, pork and lamb) based meals should probably be served around twice a week in order to assist in meeting the mandatory nutrient standards for school lunches.
  • You should take steps to reduce the fat content of your meat dishes as far as possible, for example, by:
  • trimming visible fat from meat before cooking using leaner cuts of meat (e.g. about 10% fat)
  • removing skin from poultry before cooking (except when roasting).

Red meat is the best source of iron and a major source of zinc.

The iron in meat is more easily absorbed by the body than iron from vegetable sources.

Reducing the fat content of meat dishes will assist in meeting the mandatory standards for fat and saturated fat.

Fish

  • Fish should be on the menu at least once a week. This should be in addition to canned tuna.
  • This includes:
  • non-oily fish such as cod, haddock, coley, halibut, and other whitefish varieties.
  • oily fish such as salmon, tuna (not canned), sardines, pilchards, herring and mackerel.
  • Remember that oily fish MUST be on the menu at least once every three weeks (refer to the Oily Fish Standard on page 25).

This will provide variety in the menu.

Fish provides protein, B vitamins and iodine. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish.

Manufactured meat or fish products

  • If you are using bought-in or manufactured meat or fish products, it is important to refer to the Nutrient Specifications for Manufactured Products as a guide to help you procure varieties of these products which are lower in fat, saturated fat and sodium.
  • You will also need to check with your suppliers to find out if the products have been deep-fried during the manufacturing process.
  • Remember that the lunch menu:
  • MUST NOT contain more than three deep-fried items in a single week (including chips) (refer to the Deep-fried Foods Standard on page 31),
  • and when averaged over the week, MUST meet the Nutrient Standards for School Lunches (shown in section 2).

Manufactured meat or fish products may be high in salt or saturated fat.

Composite dishes

  • Incorporating more vegetables into composite dishes, for example, lasagne, moussaka, spaghetti Bolognese, tuna pasta bake, ravioli etc., will help to reduce the fat, and increase the fibre content of dishes.
  • Choose lower fat toppings of dishes, e.g. potato toppings rather than pastry.
  • If you are using any bought-in or manufactured products, refer to the Nutrients for Manufactured Products as a guide to help you procure varieties of these products which are lower in fat, saturated fat and sodium.

Children and young people need encouragement to eat vegetables, and adding vegetables to popular dishes can help with this. Vegetables supply a range of different vitamins, minerals and fibre.

This will also help towards meeting the mandatory Fruit and Vegetable Standard (refer to page 20).

Vegetarian sources of protein

  • Vegetarian sources of protein should be varied over the week.
  • Good sources of protein for vegetarians include:

Nuts and seeds, pulses, soya products (tofu, soya milk and textured soya protein such as soya mince), cereals (wheat, oats, and rice), eggs and some milk products (milk, cheese and yoghurt).

  • As already mentioned, avoid over using cheese as a vegetarian alternative and only serve cheese as the main source of protein a maximum of twice per week.
  • If you are using any bought-in or manufactured vegetarian products, refer to the Nutrient Specifications for Manufactured Products as a guide to help you procure varieties of these products which are lower in fat, saturated fat and sodium.

Vegetarians need to get protein from a range of foods not only to supply adequate protein, but also other vitamins and minerals. Too heavy a reliance on cheese and eggs makes the diet too high in energy and fat, especially saturates.

Desserts
(e.g. puddings, cakes, biscuits, pastries and ice-cream)

Why?

  • Desserts should only be served as part of a meal. One option is to develop 'meal deals' so that the dessert item is not sold separately from the rest of the meal.
  • You should make desserts more nutritionally beneficial by modifying home-baking recipes:
  • to include fresh fruit, canned fruit in natural juice or dried fruit
  • to include nutrient-rich and fibre rich ingredients such as oats and wholemeal flour
  • to reduce the fat and sugar content.
  • Limit pastry-based desserts.
  • With the exception of cocoa powder, no confectionery can be used in desserts. Deep-fried desserts such as doughnuts must also comply with the deep-fried food standard ( section 3).
  • Desserts such as cakes, biscuits and ice-cream may be served at lunchtime but, as with all food served on the menu, they must be included in the nutritional analysis of the menu. Therefore, these high fat/sugar desserts will need to be limited.
  • Pupils should always have a healthier dessert choice available, e.g. fruit, yoghurts, fruit-based desserts such as fruit salads, fruit crumbles, baked apples, summer puddings, and fruit flans.
  • If you are using any bought-in/manufactured dessert products, e.g. ice-cream, fruit pies and sponge puddings, refer to the Nutrients for Manufactured Products as a guide to help you procure varieties of these products which are lower in fat, saturated fat and sugar.

Desserts and puddings can play an important role in increasing the energy and fibre content of children's diets as well as providing valuable vitamins and minerals.

For the lunch menu to meet the mandatory nutrient standards, healthier desserts options are encouraged.

REMEMBER: Foods and drinks included in the school lunch menu must be entered as part of the nutrient analysis of menus. Please refer to the guidance manual on how to conduct the nutrient analysis (available on the Scottish Government website).


Contact

Email: Central Enquiries Unit, ceu@gov.scot

Post:
The Scottish Government
St Andrew’s House
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG