Thousands of Christmas dinners at West Lothian schools

Nearly 17,000 Christmas dinners will be served in West Lothian’s schools this festive period.

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 12:16 pm
Stock photo of school meals.

Pupils will tuck into more than 2,100kg of potatoes, 750kg of turkey and over 1,400kg of peas and carrots.

David Dodds, executive councillor for education, said: “Catering staff within our schools do a fantastic job, at an extremely busy time. I’d like to wish them all a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

“School meals are a brilliant way to ensure that pupils receive a healthy, balanced lunch over the course of a week. Schools can accommodate special dietary requirements and have a wide variety of options. Parents can select their child’s meal online or pupils can select what they would like by ordering in the classroom on a daily basis.”

School catering staff in West Lothian are serving up local meat, locally supplied and sustainable. Figures from the Soil Association show that since West Lothian’s schools switched to The Soil Association Scotland’s Food for Life programme last year, 95 per cent of all meat served in schools is local – the highest percentage by any Scottish council (95 per cent is the highest level obtainable and seen as the natural limit due to some small amounts of meats not being available locally).

Mr Dodds added: “School lunches are the main source of food during the daytime for many pupils, so it’s important to get them right. Our previous menu was fully compliant with required nutritional standards, but the Food for Life programme has helped us go above and beyond that with a focus on locally sourced, in season ingredients, which are unprocessed and freshly prepared.

“Catering staff in our schools are passionate about feeding pupils a healthy, balanced diet.”

Education Secretary John Swinney said: “Catering staff in West Lothian play a very important role in supporting the health and wellbeing of children and young people at school and nursery, and are going the extra mile in serving thousands of Christmas dinners during the festive period. Whilst school Christmas dinner is a special day in the calendar for schools and pupils, it’s just as important to recognise the hugely impressive logistical operation that goes into producing school meals for children and young people year-round. I’d like to extend my thanks and warm wishes to all catering staff for their continued commitment to providing balanced and nutritious food and drink in schools across the country.”