Publication - Advice and guidance

Beyond the School Gate - Improving Food Choices in the School Community

Published: 3 Jun 2014
Part of:
Health and social care

Beyond the School Gate guidance was launched on 1st May 2014. It provides guidance for local authorities, schools, retailers, caterers and other partners on what they can do to influence the food environment around schools and support children and young people to make healthier choices.

70 page PDF

996.5 kB

70 page PDF

996.5 kB

Beyond the School Gate - Improving Food Choices in the School Community
Annex C: Key Tips for Healthy Catering Provision

70 page PDF

996.5 kB

Annex C: Key Tips for Healthy Catering Provision

Key catering tips for healthier food provision

Menu Planning - Ask suppliers for nutritional information and consider choosing food products that are lower in fats, salt and sugar

Meals - Base meals on starchy carbohydrates and include fruit, vegetables and oily fish

  • Base meals on starchy foods such as bread, potatoes, rice, oats and pasta - make sure wholegrains (e.g. wholemeal bread and flour) and available and promoted
  • Ensure vegetables (or salads) are part of a main meal and that fruit is offered or included in dishes
  • Include oily fish such as mackerel, sardines or salmon

Salt - The use of salt and salty ingredients should be kept to a minimum

  • Remove salt from tables; keep some separately for those that request it
  • Add less salt and salty ingredients to meals/recipes over time
  • Use salty ingredients such as stock, ketchup, mustard, gravy, seasoning packets and soy sauce sparingly
  • Avoid adding salt when boiling rice, pasta, potatoes or vegetables
  • Check the nutritional information from suppliers and choose lower salt
    varieties/versions of products

Fats and frying - Use lower fat products and alternatives to frying wherever possible

  • Offer to grill or bake food instead of frying
  • Use lean meat or mince; wherever possible trim excess fat from meat and remove skin from chicken
  • Use lower fat varieties or smaller amounts of high fat products such as cheese cream, milk, butter/spreads, yoghurt, mayonnaise and salad dressings
  • Use a healthier oil for frying such as rapeseed or sunflower which contain less saturated fat (<15g saturated fat per 100g)

    If you deep fry, for best results:

    - Heat the oil to the correct temperature (175°C for chips)
    - Shake, bang and hang the basket to drain off excess fat
    - Sieve the oil after use, filter it regularly and change the oil before it foams or smokes

Portion size - Ensure portion sizes aren't too large

  • Make sure portion sizes aren't too generous. Have a set portion size for each ingredient and ensure that staff stick to them
  • Make small portions or children's portions available to all customers where possible

Sugar - Provide alternatives to sugary foods and drinks

  • Sugar and sugary ingredients should be used sparingly
  • Water, low fat milk and low sugar drinks should be offered instead of full sugar soft drinks
  • Provision of confectionery, biscuits, cakes and pastries should be limited


Email: Christopher Russell