As thousands of children and young people prepare to enjoy school meals across the country, it’s worth taking a moment to think about who has made the meal in front of them, what they like about it and where it has come from.
International School Meals Day 2019 is a welcome opportunity to reflect, share and celebrate the hard work, skill and expertise that goes into preparing and serving thousands of healthy and nutritious school meals every day.
School meals ensure our children and young people are suitably nourished, support their learning and help them leave school equipped with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to make positive health choices and live longer, healthier lives.
School catering staff work tirelessly to provide a huge variety of food to meet the differing needs and dietary requirements of each pupil, whilst ensuring that all food served meets the nutritional requirements of our internationally admired School Food and Drink Regulations. Balancing nutritional requirements while using an increasing amount of locally sourced produce to create attractive and varied menus is not easy. Yet, school caterers continue to do this day after day in a challenging environment, showcasing the rich variety of Scottish produce, and for this they deserve our collective thanks.
This government’s commitment to a Good Food Nation means ensuring everyone who lives here appreciates and benefits from Scotland’s quality produce. We are committed to creating more opportunities for primary school children to have the chance to visit a farm to raise awareness of where their food comes from and the key role Scottish farmers play as custodians of the countryside and as food producers.
At a national level, the content of school meals continue to generate welcome debate. This government is committed to giving our children and young people the best possible start in life and make Scotland the best place in the World to grow up. We are therefore carefully considering the wide variety of responses to our public consultation on how we can further strengthen our School Food and Drink Regulations and make school meals even healthier. Our children and young people deserve nothing less.
I hope that school caterers, teaching staff, parents and children and young people themselves take some time today to follow the success of International School Meals Day 2019 at www.internationalschoolmealsday.com, @IntSchoolMeals and #ISMD2019 #MyFood.