Pupils tucking in as new catering service provides meals for Viking Academy Trust schools

Tucking in at Upton

Hundreds of children at Upton Juniors, Ramsgate Arts Primary and Chilton Primary have been served up a tasty return to school.

Independent Catering is now providing their healthy meals and the young diners are licking their lips at the prospect of trying out the nutritious menus in the weeks ahead.

There is a wide choice of dinner and pudding to meet all dietary needs prepared fresh every day.

One day’s options show the diversity of fare served up for the children. Chicken lasagne; spinach, sweet potato, lentil curry and rice; macaroni cheese; jacket potato with variety of fillings; fresh carrots and garden peas; wonky strawberries; homemade flavoured breads; fruity yogurts; cheese and biscuits.

The children are happy to give the new meals their seal of approval. RAPS diner Leo said: “The salad bar has great options, like olives and feta cheese or crunchy peppers,” while Isla loved her ‘really lovely lasagne” and added: “The puddings are the best because they are healthy but delicious as well.”

At Upton Year 5 pupil Beau said: “The new meals are really tasty. It’s great to have so many different things to choose from.”

And Chilton pupil Arthur said: “I love the new salad bar. There is lots of choice and lots of new things to try. My favourite are the olives,” while fellow pupil Max added: “I always eat all my dinner as it tastes so yummy! The new salad bar is really cool. They have things like pickles, salad and pasta! It’s so tasty.”

Helen Rolandsen is Mobile Manager for the Sevenoaks-based company. She is working with the school kitchen teams for several weeks teaching them the way the company expects their meals to be prepared and presented.

She explained: “I’m a bit of a foodie and I believe it is very important to give our children the best nutritionally balanced healthy range of meals to enjoy.

“We prepare, cook and serve our meals ‘old school’ with all of our dishes prepared fresh each day from locally-sourced produce whenever possible.

“We offer a range of four options on our daily menu for dinner and pudding and there is always a salad bar and fresh fruit too.

“Special dietary needs, allergies, vegetarians and vegans are catered for and we are happy to chat with parents to decide what is best for their children. Our hygiene standards are first class and our kitchen and preparation areas are checked throughout our service to ensure a top level of cleanliness is maintained at all stages.

“Our food choices are on a five-week cycle so there is always something different to taste each day, and we feature seasonal-flavoured menus as well as holding theme days celebrating all range of ideas from Roald Dahl to pirates.”

Michaela Lewis, Viking Academy Trust Executive Head Teacher, said: “Reaction to the new menus at all three school has been really positive – everyone loves the wide range of meal choices which really do offer something to suit everyone.

“And we are all agreed the food our children are being served is so tasty and healthy – it is just the right recipe for our growing girls and boys.”