7th January 2020
Many schools across the county have signed up to SUGAR SMART, and pledged to take action to raise awareness and reduce sugar consumption in school. However, we have had concerns raised to us by school staff and parents about some of the puddings that are available to children in primary school. At Healthy Cornwall, we looked into this a little deeper and we found that in some school meals, a 7 year old could consume up to 80% of the recommended daily maximum of free sugar, before taking into account breakfast, snacks, or an evening meal.
Subsequently, in November, Steve Brown, the Interim Deputy Director of Public Health, wrote to the four leading catering providers in Cornwall to invite them to work with us in reducing sugar content in puddings. To do this, following conversations with colleagues in other areas of the country, we asked caterers to reduce traditional school puddings to two days per week, and instead offer a lower sugar alternative on the other three days, such as cheese and crackers, fruit, and yoghurt. You may already be aware, as we also wrote to the Headteacher of all primary schools about our plans, and asking for further support.
Following our letter, we are continuing to work with the catering providers who are interested in working with us to promote the health and wellbeing of children in Cornwall. In particular, we are starting to work alongside Caterlink who have offered to reduce the frequency of puddings if your school would like to. If this is something you are interested in please contact us and we would be happy to help with this. In the meantime, we will endeavour to keep you updated with our other progress.
Please do get in touch with the Healthy Schools team if you have any comments, concerns, or queries about school food and puddings. If you have an independent cook in your school or are catered for by a small provider and you are still interested in reducing sugar in your school, please get in touch as we would be delighted to support you.