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||Cottage Pie and Gravy||Ham salad sandwich||Strawberry muffin||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Tuesday||Creamy chicken curry with basmati rice||Tuna and sweet corn whole wheat pasta||Lemon drizzle cake||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Wednesday||Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding and seasonal trimmings||Tuna or cheese salad wrap||Chocolate Shirley biscuit||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Thursday||Savoury minced beef pie with seasonal potatoes||Baked potato with cheese and beans||Strawberry cheesecake||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Friday||Oven baked fish and chips||BBQ sausage bun||Fruit and ice cream||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Monday||Whole wheat pasta with tomato and basil sauce||Chicken salad wrap||Iced cake and custard||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Tuesday||Bangers and mash||Egg mayonnaise Kara bap||Jelly delight||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Wednesday||Sweet lamb casserole with new potatoes||Tuna filled baked potato with side salad||Chocolate surprise cake||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Thursday||Chicken and vegetable pie with seasonal potatoes||Summer vegetable lasagne||Carrot cake||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Friday||Cod and salmon fish cakes with oven baked wedges||Ham salad sandwich||Banoffee pie||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Monday||Toad in the whole, new potatoes and gravy||Chicken tikka roll with salad||Summer fruit crumble and custard||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Tuesday||Lasagne with seasonal salad||Tuna and cucumber sandwich with carrot sticks||Chocolate pear muffin||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Wednesday||Savoury minced beef and dumplings||Ham salad Kara bap||Cornflake tart and custard||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Thursday||Roast ham with new potatoes||Baked potato filled with chicken and sweet corn mayo||Orange and lemon cookie||Fruit and yoghurt|
|Friday||Sea side fish goujons with oven baked wedges||Turkey salad sandwich||Strawberry topped delight||Fruit and yoghurt|