Cityserve to reduce sugar in schools by 30% per child – in next year

01/10/2018 - 08:26
Cityserve – Birmingham City Council’s education caterer – has launched its ‘ambitious’ sugar reduction plan, to reduce the amount of sugar stocked in its schools by 30% per child in the next 12 months.

The announcement coincided with the company’s 100th visit from local schoolchildren to its development kitchen, where they learned about healthy eating, sugar and the importance of exercise during an exclusive workshop.

To help realise plans, Cityserve is working on a number of measures including:

  • Limiting the use of sugars and honey within CityKitchen recipes
  • Using reduced sugar products such as baked beans and desserts
  • Replacing existing products with no-added sugar versions
  • Limiting the use of condiments such as tomato ketchup and salad cream
  • Limiting fruit juices and flavoured milk
  • Using fruit and vegetables as a direct replacement for certain ingredients
  • Replacing full fat yoghurts with low sugar, fruit versions
  • Developing new recipes that use less sugar, in line with Cityserve’s health agenda

Development chef Lisa O’Sullivan commented: “As part of the 100th session, we took the children through things like how much sugar is in their breakfast cereals or drinks, and how that compares to what the recommended amount is for a child per day.

“It’s only when you start counting out the teaspoons of sugar that they realise that a sugary cereal for breakfast plus a bottle of fizzy drink can be up to five times their recommended daily allowance.

“We’ve come up with all sorts of ways that we can lower the amount of sugar in the food we’re providing for our children, which in turn will help schools reduce the amount they stock.

“Whether it’s making cakes using banana or beetroot to provide natural sweetness or using reduced-sugar products, these little changes will make big differences over the year.

“The next stage of this is to get parents involved and help everybody understand how much sugar we consume and how we can cut that down across our daily lives.”

Head of service, Dale Wild, added: “It’s wonderful that the launch of this campaign coincided with our 100th engagement with schools. It shows how important it is that we are more than just a school meals provider, but that we actively engage with our schools and the children to help the next generation understand the importance of a balanced diet and healthy eating.

“What started as an idea sparked when I saw the amount of sugar ordered by some schools, and has grown into an ambitious campaign that really does show that we’re all about the kids.

“We all know what the long-term effects of too much sugar can be, and at Cityserve, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure we’re not contributing to that.

“I have every confidence that we’ll achieve our aim and in a year’s time, we’ll be announcing that we did indeed cut the amount of extra sugar stocked across our schools by a third.”

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