Sodexo unveils ‘Five Foodie Days’ menu in primary schools

A 'five foodie days' salad bar
Industry
05/10/2018 - 06:00
Sodexo has expanded its modern school food brand and introduced ‘Five Foodie Days’, designed specifically for primary school children.

All 66 primary schools where Sodexo provides catering are being transferred onto the new menu.

Matt Garner, managing director for Schools, Sodexo said: “We wanted to do things differently. Feedback from head teachers, parents and pupils highlighted the need for us to be more innovative and look to provide more cosmopolitan meal choices at an affordable price whilst continuing to meet the government school food standards. It was a big ask, but we believe that our Five Foodie Days does all of this and more.

“We’ve co-produced Food & Co. by Sodexo with pupils to ensure it meets the needs and expectations of today’s generation. The look and feel of our brand, and more importantly the dishes featured on our Five Foodie Days menu, have been truly pupil-led and have turned traditional school dinners on their head.”

Sodexo conducted research among pupils in key stage 2-4 across the UK to find out about the food they want to eat as well as why, when and how they wanted to eat it.

The results highlighted that pupils would like to:
• eat high street style food that includes their favourite choices
• enjoy a ‘high street’ experience, offering a more ‘grown up’ feel
• try new foods from different countries and cultures
• customise their meals by choosing from tasty sauces on the side to add extra flavour.

Five Foodie Days is designed to reflect the research outcomes with each day following a different theme: planet earth, street food, world food, originals and Friday favourites. Dishes on the new menu reflect high street trends and favourites which link to the five foodie themes.

In a move away from the traditional school dining experience and to offer KS2 pupils a ‘high street’ experience, food will be served in a box twice per week.

To ensure pupil engagement, Sodexo has introduced the “Agents for Change” initiative. Pupils are recruited from Years 5 and 6 to be representatives as well as advocates for the new menus. They are invited to taste the new food, feed back and work with the kitchen team to encourage KS1 and KS2 pupils to taste and learn about new foods.

Ms Elliott, principal of Oasis Academy Pinewood, where the new Five Foodie Days Menu was piloted, said: “Both the pupils and staff have welcomed the changes to the menu. Being able to try different food and tastes from around the world, helped to generate pupils’ interest and staff could leverage this by linking to the curriculum.

“I particularly like the Agents of Change initiative which provided an opportunity for pupils to learn how to be part of a team, build confidence and encourage pupils to talk to each other.”

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