Food for Life has launched the Great Roast Dinner celebration to encourage more pupils to eat a healthy school dinner.

The celebration puts great school food in the spotlight through a series of roast dinner themed events taking place throughout the academic year.

Schools and nurseries are being encouraged to invite parents and other family members through the gates to share a delicious and healthy lunch with their children, so they can see just how great school food can be, inspiring them to select school dinners as the regular lunchtime choice for their kids.

James Cashmore, director of Food for Life, said: “It has never been more important for us to make healthy eating easy and normal for children and despite the fact that only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards that currently apply to school food, 57% of pupils are not eating school lunches at all.

“It is far easier for children to get the nutrients they need to stay healthy from a cooked school meal, which is why we are putting great school food in the spotlight with the Great Roast Dinner celebration.”

Schools, nurseries and caterers can register online and receive a free event pack at

Celebrity chef Ellis Barrie is top class

Celebrity chef Ellis Barrie is hosting cookery classes at his local secondary school to encourage students to pursue a career in the hospitality industry

The Great British Menu star, of the Marram Grass in Anglesey, North Wales, is helping 13 Catering and Hospitality GCSE students at Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern with a range of vital skills training

He said: “There is such a struggle to find chefs across the UK and it is down to the restaurant industry to do something about it. Even if none of the students become chefs, I still think educating children about food and provenance is so important.”

Keeping Diners in the dark

Students from Cambridge Regional College’s catering department took part in a unique event – where guests dined in the dark.

To mark the launch of Eye Inspire, a project to encourage young people with sight-loss across the UK to follow their goals and aspirations, the catering students devised a two-course menu aimed at tantalising the tastebuds of guests who would not be able to see what they are eating.

Eye Inspire was founded by Yvette Chivers, a DJ and music professional from Cambridge, who was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disorder Retinitis Pigmentosa 20 years ago. Her mission is to inspire young people with sight loss and to help them build confidence in their own abilities.

Being involved promotes everything we are about in encouraging and educating the students to use their senses regarding taste, flavour and texture. For our students to be involved is fantastic.

Graham Taylor, QTLS lecturer at Cambridge Regional College headed up the kitchen team on the evening. He said: “It gives me great pleasure to be asked to be involved in such an event. At Cambridge Regional College we have students that come from all over and different walks of life. While doing a presentation to the students, it was humbling to see how many of them wanted to get involved.

Training the next generation of chefs is a privilege, to be able to give them the skills they need to go on into our industry.

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