Chartwells healthier eating school meals
Compass’s school meals arm brings in health and wellbeing programme
13/09/2018 - 07:00
Chartwells, the schools and university catering division of Compass UK & Ireland, is introducing a health and wellbeing programme called ‘Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen’ to help young people, teachers and communities tackle issues like childhood obesity, mental ill health and lack of exercise.

Launched to coincide with the new academic year, the initiative takes a holistic approach to nutrition, food and health education.

The programme has three sections: Healthier Food, Healthier Lives and Healthier Futures, each with information tailored to different audiences such as primary or secondary school children.

Richard Taylor, managing director of Chartwells, said: “With statistics showing that more than one in three children are obese or overweight by the time they leave primary school and the government’s drive to halve childhood obesity by 2030, now is the perfect time to introduce this programme.

“We estimate we could reach a potential 500,000 individuals in the next year, which would really support the health and wellbeing of children and young people throughout the UK.”

The launch follows a six-month trial, which reached an estimated 2,000 people across 19 organisations, including schools and colleges.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West and chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on School Food, said: “It is important that our children not only eat healthily, but also know how to prepare and eat healthy food too.

“That is why I support Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen, because it will equip children with the skills they need to learn about and engage with healthy foods, which will help them grow into healthy adults.”

The Healthier Food section looks at the use of fresh ingredients to create exciting and nutritious meals, also stressing the importance of encouraging young people to try global cuisines.

The Healthier Lives and Healthier Futures sections take participants outside the kitchen to show the positive impacts of a heathy lifestyle, a nourished mind and living in a sustainable way. They cover topics from oral hygiene, exercise and environmental issues.

The sessions can be delivered by Chartwells nutritionists, chefs and food ambassadors in workshops that include interactive activities, or they can be accessed online with information and advice such as lesson plans and video tutorials.