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Fruitful endeavour pays off

College scoops a healthyliving award for encouraging students to make good food choices. Julia Belgutay reports

College scoops a healthyliving award for encouraging students to make good food choices. Julia Belgutay reports

Offering special deals on healthy options, taking sweets out of the display cabinet and banishing sugar and food from the menu has won Kilmarnock College a healthyliving award.

The Kaleidoscope Cafe on the main campus and the cafe at the Centre of Sporting Excellence at the Townholm Campus won the award for encouraging the college's students to make healthy eating choices.

"Gaining the healthy-living award has been a great boost to my whole team and we now feel that we've made a real difference to the college," said David Wright, catering services leader.

No salt or sugar was used in any of the food offered in the cafes, he said, and students could always choose between white and granary bread.

"We focus on giving students the option to make a healthier choice when it comes to food and actively promote the healthy ingredients used in the meals," said Mr Wright. The cafes regularly had special offers where students would get a free bottle of water if they bought a granary sandwich, or could get a free piece of fruit with a healthy main course.

Cakes and sweets could no longer be found along the counter, and the dessert section is now dominated by bowls of fruit. "If you come along our counter you won't find cakes. If it's not there, they don't think about it."

It was also crucial, he said, to make sure there was no financial disadvantage in choosing a healthy meal, so all main courses at the college were priced the same. In fact, a recent survey of college catering facilities had shown Kilmarnock to be among the cheapest in the country. The purpose of the cafe was not, he stressed, to make a profit, but to take care of people at the college.

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