Preparing and sharing food is incredibly important to human beings and central to creating a nurturing environment and a sense of belonging.
"More should be done to spread the message that eating a healthy school meal is a great foundation for a kid's education and future health"
Studies consistently suggest that children eating together with their families improves their eating habits. Marchbank School provides children with the opportunity to eat together; with adults and other children each day.
It is also believed that children who eat with adults on a daily basis are more accepting of a varied diet and eat more fruit and vegetables because they watch and learn from the adults.
Meaghan Christian, who conducted research into this area as part of her PhD, said: "Modern life often prevents the whole family from sitting round the dinner table, but research shows that even just Sunday lunch round the table can help improve the diets of our families."
Azmina Govindji, of the British Dietetic Association, said: "Eating habits developed in childhood die hard, and eating at a table helps reduce chances of mindless eating, which can increase the likelihood of obesity. This study and others like it reinforce the view that children learn more from what we do than what we say, so it's the role modelling that helps shape their future habits."
At Marchbank we have our own highly qualified chef who uses high quality, locally sourced supplies where possible. School meals are cooked on site and very much part of the school day. Children and staff all help to prepare the dining room and staff serve the children and sit with them to eat their midday meal.
The children all have the opportunity to develop a number of skills by taking part in this daily ritual; this develops good table manners from the adults as role models, take part in discussions on a variety of topics, work as part of a team and most importantly enjoy a sense of belonging whilst having the advantage of a wholesome nutritious meal each day.
In addition to a midday meal all children at Marchbank enjoy a morning snack time which consists of a choice of fresh fruit or a healthy snack like flapjack etc.Staff and children prepare the snack and sit together at the table where they take part in eating together as a shared social activity.
We also make breakfast available each morning for all children at no additional cost to the child. This ensures they have a good start to the day with high energy levels.
Food also features strongly in the curriculum and children have many opportunities to be involved in cooking and baking with their efforts being shared among the school community and taken home for families.
We have a number of well-loved hens and ducks who provide us with fresh eggs and we also grow our own fruit, vegetables and herbs. Garden produce is harvested and cooked by the Marchbank cook and the kitchen waste provides compost.
Options available for school dinners are on a three week rotation. A menu example is as below:
|Monday||Sweet chilli bangers with wedges and beans||Tuna and cucumber sandwich||Raspberry mouse cake||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Tuesday||Mega macaroni cheese with a garlic slice||Chicken tikka sandwich||Cookie||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Wednesday||Roast turkey and stuffing with seasonal trimmings||Ham salad roll||Jam, cream and strawberry scone||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Thursday||Minced beef pie and Yorkshire puddings with creamed potatoes||Cheese omelette with summer salad||Lemon and poppy seed tray bake||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Friday||Oven baked fish fillet and chips||Tuna salad wrap||Chocolate delight||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Monday||Chicken goujons with new potatoes and coleslaw||Cheese and tomato sandwich||Fruit and ice cream||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Tuesday||Pasta Bolognaise||Chicken mayo and lettuce sandwich||Chocolate fairy cakes||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Wednesday||Roast beef, Yorkshire puffing and roast potatoes||Tuna and sweetcorn sandwich||Lemon meringue pie||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Thursday||Cottage pie||Ham and cheese bun||Jam and coconut cake with custard||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Friday||Fish cakes with oven baked wedges||Bacon bun||Key lime pie||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Monday||Margarita pizza and beans|
Tuna and cucumber
|Strawberry and ice cream||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Tuesday||Cheese burger in a bun with wedges||Hot beef baguette||Donuts||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Wednesday||Free range roast pork with apple sauce and roast potatoes||Chicken pasta salad bowl||Jelly delight||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Thursday||Lasagna and garlic bread||Cheese savoury sandwich with carrot and cucumber sticks||Cookies and milkshake||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Friday||Oven baked fish fingers and chips||Chicken tikka baguette||Fruit cheesecake||Fruit and yoghurt|