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Chartwells cooks up new school menu with Allegra McEvedy

09 Jun 2021
Chartwells, the school meals arm of Compass UK & Ireland, is launching a new selection of recipes for their September school menu that has been created in partnership with CBBC celebrity chef and Leon co-founder Allegra McEvedy.

Pupils will be able to enjoy ‘Takeover Tuesdays’ which has a focus on offering ‘fun and exciting dishes’ with the aim of introducing children to new flavours.

This includes ‘Oodles of Noodles’ based on a veggie Pad Thai recipe with sweetheart cabbage and edamame; a Mexican inspired ‘Poco Loco’ lasagne using wholemeal tortillas, beans, squash and a little chicken; and Barbecue Beans and Cornbread, which is loaded with pulses and hidden veg.

McEvedy said: “I’m fanatical about how and what children eat: it’s vital that they eat yummy and nutritious school lunches to feed their bodies and minds.

“Part of our job is also to broaden their horizons, introducing tasty food that’s good for them in a non-scary way, alongside their usual favourites. This menu delivers on all that across the board.”

The September menus will have 25% of primary school meals as plant forward recipes with a focus on health, nutrition and sustainability. Meat Free Mondays were introduced across Chartwells several years ago and have been popular with both pupils and parents.

Meat dishes remain on the menu but there will also be one or two vegetarian options enabling the children to choose what they want to eat. School favourites such as Bolognese, fish & chips, and a roast dinner will remain on the menu.

Nicky Martin, head of nutrition - Compass Group UK & Ireland (Chartwells parent company) added: “We’re excited to be rolling out these new nutritious dishes to the children that we serve. It’s been great to partner with Allegra, whose expertise and enthusiasm for great food can be seen in the dishes that have been created.

“Increasing plant forward options on our menus provides another way to introduce children to more vegetables, important for both their health as well as the planet.”

All desserts on the primary school menu meet PHE 20% sugar reduction targets and include fruit, oats, wholegrain flour whenever possible within the recipes, meaning the focus is not just on plant forward but on nutritious and sustainable diets as a whole.