Pupils make a meal of it

Pupils make a meal of it

30th September 2013


HARD working students are getting their teeth into their afternoon studies thanks to a new in-house lunch menu designed to give them energy.

Catering manager at West Park Academy Paul Garthwaite is using computer technology to design healthy menus featuring the perfect balance of nutrition.

Iron, vitamins, carbohydrates and protein are being served up as tasty meals as the Darlington academy takes control of its own catering.

Paul is used to feeding the troops – he spent years in the Navy feeding Royal Marines aboard frigates and aircraft carriers.

In at 8am every day, he and his team begin feeding more than 170 pupils a day from 11.30am. They are also limbering up for an anticipated 250 students a day when the free school meals for four to seven-year-olds begin in September 2014.

“We have designed menus that rotate around a three week cycle,” said Paul. “We try and have a cultural mix; so alongside a traditional roast will be spicy specials such as curry and sweet and sour.

“We use locally sourced products of the highest quality and I use a computer programme to ensure the perfect nutritional balance.”

Vice principal Sam Hirst said: “We have noticed that our children are really enjoying the new menu, particularly the choice, and more staff are eating school dinners now.

“Having a hot meal at lunchtime is absolutely crucial to learning; it is fuel in the tank. Nutritional value is key as we want the children to be the best they can be.

“Some of the children have long days here and they need something substantial at lunchtime to see them through the afternoon when they have sport, creative activities and study time.”

Owen Ovens, five, said: “The new food is amazing; I love it.”

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