At the end of August, the Government published Chapter 2 of its Childhood Obesity: A Plan For Action report, outlining plans to halve childhood obesity by 2030. Changes, such as the introduction of a sugar tax, have already been implemented, but this most recent report also identified the fundamental role of schools in providing children and young adults with healthy choices at mealtimes.
Caterers are expecting bold updates to School Food Standards. Whilst the details are as yet unknown, it proves there is more pressure than ever before to invest in healthier alternatives in the school – starting with ingredients.
In TUCO’s recent report on student eating and drinking habits, fat (along with sugar) was the biggest factor in students’ meal choices, with 40% of those surveyed saying they considered the fat content of a dish.
With university canteens competing with in-house franchises and high street outlets, they need to create dishes that are low-fat and tasty, and will appeal to students.
Whirl: A way forward
Not only is Whirl versatile and easy to use, but it’s 60% lower in saturated fat than butter, making it the ideal choice for education caterers.
Here are a few ways Whirl can be used – from primary school to university kitchens …
Pasta and puddings
Primary school kitchen staff are constantly looking for new dishes to develop that are nutritious, as well as delicious. Use Whirl instead of butter in a white sauce for a pasta bake or lasagne, or in a hearty, autumnal pud, such as an apple and peach crumble. Sweet treats will still taste great and be tempting to children – they’ll just have the added bonus of a lower fat content.
Senior school and college canteens are constantly competing with off-site catering outlets for business. To encourage students to stay on-site, create a selection of convenient, healthy and tempting grab and go boxes – layers of grains, rice and dressed salad leaves, topped with either chicken, salmon or falafel cooked in Whirl. Or try offering warming veggie soup pots to take out, using Whirl instead of oil to cook down the vegetables.
University canteens tend to be busiest between 10am and 2pm – a primetime for brunch. Rustle up stacks of pancakes using Whirl, topped with a blueberry compote and creamy fat-free yoghurt. Alternatively, add a Middle Eastern twist to your menu with shakshuka – baked eggs with tomatoes, peppers, onions and a variety of fresh herbs. Simply replace the olive oil base with Whirl.