Health - Food for thought

4th September 2009 at 01:00

Midlothian is set to become the first authority to launch a new resource across all its primaries, giving pupils and parents the chance to say what they think about school dinners.

The School Meals Investigators module was launched last week by Schools Minister Keith Brown. It supports primary pupils' understanding of the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet and captures valuable data on pupil and parent perceptions of school food services.

P7 pupils are supported to carry out their own investigation into school food experiences, the meals and the environment in which they are served. They develop a class questionnaire, interview their parents and help younger pupils to complete a survey. Pupils then summarise and discuss the findings of their overall investigation.

The materials were trialled in Midlothian late last year. Donald MacKay, director of education and communities, claims uptake of school meals has increased as a result of the project.

Jill Robinson, a P7 teacher at Newtongrange Primary, who was involved in the pilot, said: "We looked at nutrition, and the children learned new things about the Government regulations controlling the content of school meals. That helped them understand why they couldn't have particular foods on the menu more regularly, and it also explained why they were given the same size of portion as P4 children, something P7s often complain about."

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