Scotland - Fine dining is reward for clean plates

31st July 2009 at 01:00

A primary school that allows its pupils to dine in a special restaurant if they eat all their lunch has won a health award.

St Kenneth's Primary in Greenock opened the restaurant in 2008 alongside its canteen. It is fitted out with brightly coloured table-cloths, flower-filled vases and French doors leading to a garden. In good weather, diners eat al fresco.

Only pupils who have shown they have finished all their food get access to the restaurant. This allows them to skip the dinner queue while others eat in the less sophisticated canteen.

Speaking after the school scooped the health and wellbeing award at this year's Scottish Education Awards, headteacher Isobel Delussey said: "When we started, we had seven children in the restaurant.

"Now we have 85 and 15 in the canteen, which means we have 85 pupils who are clearing their plates every day."

The school now throws out only 0.5kg of wasted food instead of 6kg.

The bid to make the Inverclyde school healthier was prompted by the authority's lower-than-average life expectancy and significantly higher rates of cancer, coronary disease, heart attacks and strokes. Respiratory and digestive diseases are particularly prevalent.

The restaurant is part of a wider health improvement campaign, started by the school in 2005. St Kenneth's has also worked to improve nutrition by explaining to pupils that healthy food provides the fuel their bodies need to function well. ES.

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