School meals in Angus are cooking up a storm according to the latest figures discussed recently by Angus councillors.
Statistics show that the uptake of school meals in Angus secondary schools is the highest of any mainland Scottish authority.
Their success has been attributed to a number of innovative projects to encourage pupils to stay in school at lunchtime and enjoy nutritious meals.
At Montrose Academy and Forfar Academy, snack bars have been introduced in the school grounds.
This has helped to reduce queues within the dining area and offers a fast snack service option for pupils and staff. At both schools the uptake of school meals has increased dramatically, and the roll out of the scheme is being considered for other Angus schools.
A new secondary menu has also been introduced offering pupils a selection of food styles and packages that are currently being sold by popular high street food outlets.
The foods being offered in all school have all been analysed to ensure they meet nutritional requirements.
Feedback from pupils has been enthusiastic, and there has been a positive impact on meal uptake.
Education convener Sheena Welsh said: “I am delighted that efforts to promote school meals within secondary schools are paying off and that more and more Angus pupils are enjoying balanced and value for money meals.”
A report before the council’s Education Committee last Thursday also outlined the work being done in the county to offer free breakfast clubs to primary pupils.
The committee also heard that the authority is actively promoting food education to encourage healthy lifestyles from a young age.
Mrs Welsh added: “There is no doubt that the innovative approach taken in Angus is benefiting children of all ages and encouraging healthy food choices. The task facing the council is to continue to find innovative ways to promote schools meals within a very challenging financial environment.”