schools to benefit from new food standards
HUNDREDS of schools in the
North West are expected to benefit from a new set of standards for
all food served in pupils. The new guidelines are designed to
make it easier for school cooks to create imaginative, flexible and
nutritious menus. They will be mandatory in all maintained schools,
and new academies and free schools.
Although the previous standards, introduced between 2006 and 2009,
did much to improve school food, they were complicated and expensive
to enforce. Cooks had to use a special computer program to analyse
the nutritional content of every menu. Often, they ended up
following 3 week menu plans sent out by centralised catering
teams who would do the analysis for them. This meant they couldn't
be as flexible or creative as many would like.
In trials, the new standards proved extremely popular with school
cooks, 90% of whom said they were easier to implement than the old
standards. They also proved just as effective at delivering the
energy and nutrients that growing children need. In fact, those
secondary schools that took part in trials reported an increase in
the consumption of vegetables, leading to higher fibre, folate,
vitamin A and vitamin C intake.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said:- "These new food
standards will ensure all children are able to eat healthy,
nutritious meals at school. We now have a clear and concise
set of food standards which are easier for cooks to follow and less
expensive to enforce. Crucially we have achieved this without any
compromise on quality or nutrition. There has been a great
deal of progress in providing healthy school meals in recent years
and these new standards will help deliver further improvements."
The new standards include:-
1 or more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment
At least 3 different fruits, and
three different vegetables each week.
An emphasis on wholegrain foods in
place of refined carbohydrates
An emphasis on making water the
drink of choice.
Limiting fruit juice portions to
Restricting the amount of added
sugars or honey in other drinks to 5%.
No more than 2 portions a week of
food that has been deep-fried, batter-coated, or breadcrumb coated.
No more than 2 portions of food
which include pastry each week.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:- "Every mum and dad
knows that if you want your child to do well at school, and
particularly to concentrate well in the classroom in the afternoon,
a healthy meal at lunchtime is vital. If you speak to heads,
teachers and cooks about the school meals they provide, they want to
be given a little bit more freedom to make their own choices.
The revised school food standards will allow schools to be more
creative in their menus. They are easier for schools to understand
and crucially they will continue to restrict unhealthy foods to
ensure our children eat well."
Henry Dimbleby, co-author with John Vincent of The School Food Plan,
said:- "The previous standards did a lot of good in removing
the worst foods from children's diets. But when we were writing the
School Food plan we met lots of wonderful cooks who felt restricted
by them. There was a very talented Asian cook, for example,
who was exasperated at having to follow the Council's three week menu plan
of shepherd's pie and fish and chips, when her pupils – most of whom
were also Asian; would have much preferred naan bread and a curry.
Other cooks complained that having to plan menus so far in advance
meant they couldn't make the most of cheap, high quality, seasonal
produce. These standards will preserve the nutritional gains that
have already been made in school food, while allowing greater
Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, University of
Oxford, led the work to create the new standards. She said:-
"We know that children are continuing to eat too much saturated fat,
sugar and salt. It is vital that the food children are offered in
schools is nutritious and helps them to learn about the basics of a
healthy diet. The pilots we ran were very encouraging
and clearly enabled cooks to develop nutritionally balanced menus.
We saw a real boost in the variety of vegetables offered, helping to
increase intakes of fibre and essential nutrients. The new
standards and supporting guidance include clear information on
appropriate portion sizes to help achieve similar results and
promote good practice across all schools."
the plunge and saves £60k on energy costs with ABB drives
LIVERPOOL City Council is
saving £60,000 a year on energy costs at 5 of its swimming pools
following the installation of ABB variable speed drives on
filtration pumps an air handling units. Faced with rising energy
costs and the need to trim budgets, the Council approached ABB
authorised value provider Central Group for help in cutting the
energy use at its swimming pools. The Council’s maintenance
manager says:- "We had an energy conservation report done on 1
of our pools by an independent company which had recommended ABB
variable speed drives."
Central Group investigated the pumping set up at the swimming pool.
The 2 filtration pumps were originally run in a duty/standby
configuration. Pumping rates were increased as more people entered
the pool. Central suggested using the pumps in a parallel pumping
scheme that would cut energy use. Gianfranco Colangeli of Central
says:- "At 1st the council was sceptical of the proposed
scheme. We suggested a trial to prove that it could work and they
agreed. We logged the energy use of the pumps beforehand; we then
installed 2 new ABB drives. Our predictions indicated a 10% to 15%
saving, but logging the energy use we found that the drives made a
35 percent saving, with a payback of around 6 months. This was all
with no change in the flow rate or water pressure."
Following the installation of the permanent drives, Central Group
also installed low occupancy switches, which cause the drives to run
the motors at even lower speeds when few people are using the pool
or when the pool is closed. "We had budgeted for 45 Hz, but we
can go as low as 30 Hz." says Colangeli. Since the initial
installation, ABB drives have been retrofitted into four other
swimming pools, for water pumps and air handling units. With a total
of 20 drives over the five sites ranging from 7.5 to 18 kW, the
project is saving £60,000 a year, with a payback of around 2 years.
Scrum on down
for new event!
OVER the weekend of 21 June
2014 and 22
June 2014, the City will host the Wheelchair 7s Rugby Union Four Nations
Tournament, a 1st for the City. Staged at Liverpool John
Moores University's IM Marsh Campus, spectators will have the chance
to see the finest players from England, Ireland, Wales and the
Barbarians go head-to-head with each other in what is set to be a
fierce competition for the title.
The matches start at 10am at the Barkhill Road site, and the first
game sees England V's Barbarians.
Liverpool's Assistant Mayor, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:-
"I'm delighted that Liverpool is hosting this event. We are
dedicated to doing as much as we can to promote inclusive sport and
to also help people with disabilities overcome any barriers they may
face when it comes to getting active. This tournament will give
spectators the chance to see some of the best players in this
international field, and is set to be an exciting and competitive
couple of days."
Schedule for the weekend is as follows:-
Saturday, 21 June 2014
► 10am – England v Barbarians.
► 12pm – Wales v Ireland.
► 2pm – England v Wales.
► 4pm – Barbarians v Ireland.
Sunday, 22 June 2014
► 10am – Barbarians v Wales.
► 12pm – England v Ireland.
► 2pm – Trophy presentations.
Liverpool Lions Wheelchair Rugby Club has been closely involved with
planning for the tournament and it is hoped that this will become a
bi-annual event staged in the City.
Manager of the Liverpool Lions Wheelchair Rugby Club and England
Team Manager, Martin Beddis, said:- "This is an exciting time
for wheelchair rugby in Merseyside and this international event will
go a long way to showcase the sport in the City.
Wheelchair 7s is one of only a few sports that is fully inclusive.
Weather you have a disability or not, male or female, you can play
and if you're good enough, you can represent your country.
It's also the ideal build up for the Six Nations competition to be
held in Paris in August, so we hope as many people as possible come
along and see the excitement in action."
Admission is completely free to
these events and to find out more you can follow England Wheelchair 7s and Liverpool Lions Wheelchair Rugby on
Facebook or the following their Twitter accounts:- @England7sWRU @LivLionsWRL