Education caterer Cityserve launches sugar reduction plans

17/09/2018 - 09:38
Cityserve, the education catering division of Birmingham City Council, will launch its plans to reduce the amount of sugar stocked by its schools by 30% per child.

The plans include limiting the use of sugars and honey in recipes and using reduced sugar products, such as cake mixes, baked beans and deserts, as well as creating new recipes that use less sugar, using no-added sugar products and limiting the use of condiments such as tomato ketchup and salad cream.  

Development chef Simon Bishop said: “We’ve come up with a whole range of ways to help schools reduce the amount of sugar they stock. At Cityserve our focus is always on the food and producing quality, tasty and healthy meals for children across Birmingham so looking at ways we can limit the use of any added sugar makes perfect sense.

“The changes we’ve made will help each and every school cut their intake and I’m confident we can achieve our aim of reducing the amount of extra sugar stocked by 30% throughout the year.”

Bishop will demonstrate one of the new recipes at the campaign’s official launch at Cityserve on Thursday, September 27, which will be attended by children from The Abbey Catholic Primary School in Erdington, dignitaries and Cityserve staff.

Cityserve, which provides more than 60,000 school meals every day at schools across Birmingham, already provides low-sugar meals in line with the 2013 School Food Plan, which set out actions to transform what children eat in schools and how they learn about food.

But following a review of school stock reports, head of service Dale Wild said they found that while some schools were managing their larders well with less than half a dozen kilos of sugar ordered per year, others exceeded it, prompting them to aim to reduce sugar usage in every school.

Wild said: “As the organisation that feeds so many children, we’re in a privileged position to be helping to lay the foundations for their future. The long-term benefits of sugar reduction on their lives are clear to see and we see it as our duty to do what we can to prevent obesity and diabetes, as well as other health issues, in the next generation.

“As well as our recipe development and product substitution, we’re keen to engage with teachers and parents to make sure this kind of sugar reduction goes beyond the meals children eat at school and makes its way into the home.”

The plans will also include the limitation of fruit juices and flavoured milk, using low sugar fruit yoghurts and using fruit and vegetables as a direct replacement for some products.

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