BBC chef and food scientists unite to improve healthy school meals
Press release issued: 17 August 2015
The factors that drive children’s choices of food and the most effective ways of making healthy meals more appetising to young tastes, will be the focus of a free public workshop [15 Sep] hosted by the University of Bristol's Elizabeth Blackwell Institute. The event, which brings together food psychologists, nutritionists, public health experts, award-winning chefs and school representatives, aims to find different approaches to improving children’s nutrition in school.
Improving school meal nutrition has featured in the public eye for some time. However, the latest evidence around Government school food standards programmes, which were implemented to improve children’s diet and reduce health-related problems, suggests they may not be effective unless measures to guide children’s healthy food choices and increase acceptance of these foods are in place.
To date, there is a lack of research on identifying effective ways to improve diet quality through school nutrition. This workshop aims to bridge this gap by bringing some of the UK’s leading experts in school food policy, food intake psychology, and child nutrition to work together with school representatives, teachers, parents, and other practitioners to identify the challenges and propose solutions to the problem.
Jo Ingleby, the 2015 BBC Cook of the Year winner, an accolade previously awarded to Jamie Oliver, will be speaking at the event along with other experts discussing topics ranging from what we can learn from school meal experiences in other countries, the history of school dinners to the importance of early exposure to healthy foods.
Dr Michael Nelson, formerly Director of Research and Nutrition at the Children's Food Trust and now Director of Public Health Nutrition Research Ltd will share his experience of participating in the development of the School Food Plan. Professor Marion Heatherington from theInstitute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds will talk about her research on child intake development. Professor Peter Rogers from Bristol’s Nutrition and Behaviour Unit will discuss hunger, satiety and what motivates us to eat and Professor Jeff Brunstrom, also from Bristol’s Nutrition and Behaviour Unit, will talk about the factors that drive food choices, including expectations about satiety.
Dr Sibylle Kranz, a Senior Lecturer in Nutrition at the University of Bristol who is leading the event, said: “School nutrition is an issue that affects all children in the UK, but especially those from deprived backgrounds. School meals can have a major impact on children’s health, learning, behaviour and development, it is therefore vital that we take a fresh look at the issue to develop more effective approaches in light of Government interventions which have not appeared to work.
“This workshop is designed to bring together parties with interests in child nutrition and children’s dietary intake behaviour to collaborate on improving school food programmes and make Bristol a leading ‘think tank’ in the field. We are inviting parents, school representatives, food producers and chefs to participate in this event to help us share ideas and gain perspectives from those connected to the issues around school nutrition.”
The ‘School food programme: Improvement of diet quality’ workshop takes place on Tuesday 15 September 2015. The event, hosted by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute and led by Dr Sibylle Kranz, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition in the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, invites parents, schools and food suppliers or anyone with an interest in children's nutrition. Advance booking is required to secure a place on the workshop. A full programme and booking details for the event can be found on the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research website.
About the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute
The Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research is building a dynamic community of researchers from our health and non-health related disciplines to find innovative solutions for some of the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. The Institute will achieve this through encouraging new ways of working, and also through fostering collaborative approaches between scientists, industry, clinical practitioners and patients.