Nutritious meat for Leicestershire schoolchildren

Schoolchildren in Leicestershire have been widening their taste buds with nutritious beef and lamb dishes cooked by a professional chef.

Children from the Waltham on the Wolds Primary School welcomed Stapleford Park head chef Stephen Conway, who was invited by the county’s School Food Support Service (SFSS) to provide some new additions to their menu.

Representatives from the SFSS, EBLEX, and the school caterers were present to hear feedback from the children, who tried dishes such as lamb koftas, flatbread and salad and traditional roast beef with sweet potato mash, red cabbage and green beans.

Conway said: “It’s great for Stapleford to be involved in an event like this. I believe it is really important for the children to have healthy and nutritious meals that look and taste great as well. I was delighted to be involved in the project.”

The combined feedback from the children will possibly lead to final tweaks to the recipes and ingredients before the dishes are added to the school meals menus, which is all part of the SFSS’ aim to support and advise schools on their catering and school food in general.

Wendy Philp, SFSS head, said: “Everyone agreed that Stephen’s dishes were fantastic. We’re committed to pushing pupils out of their ‘comfort zones’ and getting them to try new things, such as red cabbage – and banishing forever the stereotype of soggy school veggies!

"Working with a skilled chef, we knew that we’d get top-quality food. Stephen has brought imagination and enthusiasm to the project and we’re delighted with what he’s come up with. Both dishes are tasty and interesting without being too complicated, rich or overwhelming for younger palates.”

The SFSS is part of Leicestershire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Service, which aims to encourage all schoolchildren in Leicestershire to have a nutritionally balanced diet in the school environment.