School caterers ISS Education held a two-day event promoting healthy living and good school food to primary students in the London Borough of Lambeth.
Pupils from 20 schools in Lambeth attended the two-day event, hosted by Woodmansterne School, to attend a fun-filled food education experience. ISS partnered with suppliers and organisations to deliver a comprehensive event, designed to equip pupils from Key Stage 1 all the way up to Year 7 with the knowledge they need to keep fit, healthy and understand where their food comes from. The event was organised by the catering team for Lambeth, headed by Regional Operations Manager Steve Newland and supported by employees from other areas of the business.
ISS has offered healthy eating and food education alongside its school catering service for many years, and recently partnered with sport education organisation, Learn Play Grow, to offer a well-rounded approach to teaching children about wellbeing. ISS believes that it is important to help children understand why good food and exercise are essential for them to grow into healthy, happy adults and have run similar events for areas such as Bracknell, Portsmouth and Richmond.
The ISS team had a number of stalls based around different aspects of food and nutrition. ISS nutritionist, Charlotte Quick, talked with pupils about why eating the right amount of different foods is important for growth and development. Pupils sampled a healthy snack alternative in the form of popcorn flavoured with honey and cinnamon, rather than salt, butter or refined sugar grains. The hall was filled with the cheers coming from ISS’ smoothie bike stand, where pupils took turns on the pedal powered blender to make pure fruit smoothies – demonstrating the direct relationship between activity and energy from food. The pupils then delighted in tasting their hard-earned smoothie following all the pedalling!
Alongside ISS were representatives from Quorn, demonstrating meat alternatives with tasters of some of their new products, and discussing how and why we should reduce our meat consumption. Food suppliers NCB had a colourful market stall display, featuring fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. They explained how familiar products such as curry powder start out as plants and showed off some less familiar produce such as candy-striped beetroots and purple carrots.
Finally, pupils had a training session with Learn Play grow, an organisation set up by ex-Olympic and former British No.1 tennis coach, Nino Severino. These sessions focus on making fitness fun and encouraging children to get involved in sports. Nino and fellow coach Lindsey ran a variety of tennis-themed activities, including ball skills and agility training. Pupils were enthusiastic to join in the fast-paced fun of these sessions, and it’s a great time to encourage young people to get involved in sport with all the buzz of Wimbledon and the football World Cup surrounding them.
Everyone who took part in making the event demonstrated their passion to educate young people about food and wellbeing, working as a team to make the event run smoothly.
Michael Dinsmore, Teacher and Healthy Living Week Coordinator – Woodmansterne School, said: ‘The event was educational but fun, pupils of all ages enjoyed taking part and the team adapted their presentation style to suit each year group. It was our Healthy Living Week at Woodmansterne this week and this complimented it very well. Thank you very much to Steve Newland and the ISS team.’
Steve Newland, Regional Operations Manager – ISS Education, said: ‘Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves; from year two to head teachers, the event covered all the ages. Even sceptical year sevens left the hall with big smiles having had a great experience.’
Hassane Taleb, Food Ambassador – ISS Education, added: ‘A really successful event, children and teachers thoroughly enjoyed it and we had some amazing feedback.’