‘Good food: why it should be a no-brainer for every school’


Well why not ? Long gone are the days of overcooked cabbage and lumpy custard served in silver tureens…

At Manchester Health Academy we strive to ensure our students are equipped for the future by emphasising the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We work closely with Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust to embed health across the Curriculum.

Food figures in all aspects of Academy life – the opportunity to take part in tasting sessions provided by Maureen, our Catering Manager, cooking with a Master Baker who understands the importance of healthy nutritious food, chance to achieve a GCSE in Food Technology in our state of the art specialist cookery room, chance to taste food from around the world cooked by our parents, chance to grow an array of fruit and vegetables on our own allotment as part of enrichment, chance to take part  in our themed  health days where food is always  on the menu.

As adults, we take responsibility for the young people who we get to know during their school life. Surely we have a moral obligation to ensure that as well as providing children with a diet of fractions and metaphors, we provide the fuel to help them in their learning?

Our students’ lunchtime experience is a positive one. Cashless catering means students are served quickly and efficiently by Maureen and her team…. they know our students names and encourage them to try the latest new taste.

Most teachers see personal, social and health education as a necessary part of the curriculum – and OFSTED endorse this by sharing evidence of good practice within schools.

How many times do teachers stand in front of a class who are desperate for food to get them through to the end of the day? As a parent of a 14-year-old whose appetite is voracious and who is growing by the minute, I understand his need for replenishment. Students get grumpy as blood sugar drops and tummies start to rumble. How many friendship issues occur around lunchtime?

As a “Healthy School” we jump at opportunities to engage with students in creative and imaginative ways. Health messages are consumed more readily when students are engaged and see the relevance to their own lives.

We are the role models for students – we are careful about the language we use, we are experts in engaging with young people ,we are acutely aware of the pressure they are under to do well and grow up to be successful adults. We should therefore be doing our utmost to make sure the food they consume on our premises is as good as it can be….

Helen spoke about Manchester Health Academy’s work on food at our Children’s Food Conference in March.


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