Manchester Fayre’s Award Winning ‘Turf to Tummies’ Toolkit Celebrates International School Meals Day.
The toolkit is a cross curricular educational program which has been designed to be delivered in partnership between Manchester Fayre’s School Meals Nutritionist and the individual school’s education team.The objectives of the toolkit are:
- Build awareness and communicate the key features and benefits of healthy eating
- Build awareness of where food comes from and the benefits of a varied diet
- Build awareness of how food arrives at the school lunch counter and create interest in the service.
- Stimulate demand for school meals and ultimately increase uptake
- Improve the perception of school meals
- Increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits
- Enhance the whole school approach for healthy schools.
The foundation of the toolkit is the interactive board (see attached images). The board was designed and created specifically for Manchester Fayre which encompassed the following brief:
- An area to demonstrate plants that grow under ground
- An area to demonstrate plants that grow on the surface of the soil including bushes and trees
- An area to demonstrate climate requirements for growing
- An area depicting assorted farm animals
Images of a variety of different products – including eggs, vegetables and a woolly jumper – have been captured on magnetic material similar to that of fridge magnets. As each item is discussed by the group, volunteers are encouraged to place the magnet on the board according to its origin i.e. animal or plant (see attached images). The design of the board allows for flexibility in the pitch that the session is delivered. Lesson plans have been devised to support the delivery of the lesson and for the schools educational team to continue the theme throughout the curriculum.What We Did:
To celebrate International School Meals Day, the lesson was delivered in a primary school by their Unit Catering Managers to highlight the dishes made in school on that day, how each ingredient was grown, and also used a world map to discuss with children areas of the world that foods are grown. Children were surprised to learn how many different vegetables are incorporated into both savoury and dessert dishes e.g. chocolate and beetroot muffin is always a revelation! They enjoyed discussing how they thought the foods were grown, for example, many believed the pineapple, that is served in the salad bar and in some dessert dishes, grew on trees and were surprised to learn that they grown from the ground.
The successful launch of Turf to Tummies has resulted in the following achievements:
- Manchester Fayre’s average meals uptake in primaries for the year 2011/2012 was reported as 66.6% against the national average of 46.3%. This was perceived as an excellent result however when applied to a backdrop of a decreasing entitlement in free school meals (opposing the national trend) and the highest benchmarked meal price in the North West this result is considered exceptional.
- Manchester Fayre have spent an additional £111,000 compared to the previous year on fresh fruit and vegetable to promote 5 a day in primary schools
- 94% of the schools which Manchester Fayre cater for hold a recognised healthy food/schools award
- 99.8% of students who have taken part in the Turf to Tummies activity reported a green learning status on the traffic light evaluation (0.2% reported amber).
This marketing and educational tool has proven to be extremely timely, particularly with the recent meat controversy. Therefore steps are currently been taken to increase the number of people able to deliver the sessions. The aim is to have additional boards made so that Unit Catering Managers will be able to deliver Turf to Tummies in their cluster groups.
The toolkit has recently won the Cost Sector Marketing Award 2013.