School recognised for healthy eating

PUBLISHED: 14:03 03 November 2009 | UPDATED: 12:13 10 June 2010

JAMIE Oliver s campaign to get schools eating healthily has rubbed off on an Exmouth primary school who have been recognised in a prestigious regional culinary competition.

JAMIE Oliver's campaign to get schools eating healthily has rubbed off on an Exmouth primary school who have been recognised in a prestigious regional culinary competition.

Bassetts Farm Primary School won bronze in the Taste of the West Awards 2009, competing against finalists from Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

This is the second year the Local Food in Schools Award has taken place with the number of entries from across the counties of the South West double that of last year.

The awards recognise schools that have made an effort to overhaul school meals, and encouraged healthy eating by its pupils.

The judging panel of leading industry experts looked at school's commitment to serving healthy, locally sourced produce to their pupils and educating pupils and parents about their eating habits.

Head teacher Sarah Bennett said: "About three years ago we decided that we wanted to opt out of Devon County Council school meals and take a good look at the quality of the food served and tempt kids to start eating in a healthy way.

"They wanted to try something different and now the school council review the menu periodically and tweak it too make changes and keep things they like.

"It's a varied healthy, nutritionally balanced menu which is locally sourced and there is loads of choice. "The kids love it and we are delighted to have been recognised.

"It's thanks to the hard work of the kitchen staff."

John Sheaves, Chief Executive of Taste of the West said, "I am delighted to see such a fantastic response to our competition.

"We have seen a real uplift in the commitment to sustainable sourcing and healthy eating in schools.

"It seems that the Jamie Oliver effect has started to work with primary schools in particular showing a desire to make healthy eating a part of the whole school experience - the winners have certainly demonstrated how they can include local food production, sourcing, menu preparation, cooking and eating into the curriculum and therefore the classroom. It bodes well for the next generation's health.

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