A LLANELLI school has become the first in the county to trial a mobile takeaway unit in the playground.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Catering Service has introduced the innovative fast-food van at Coedcae School to re-introduce healthy food to children who have shunned the school canteen in favour of nearby food outlets.
It has proved a big hit with pupils, with as many as 400 school meals now being served every day.
The van is open from 8am to serve breakfast snacks including takeaway porridge, toast and cereal together with tea, coffee and cold drinks, for those that have left home without breakfast.
During lunch, children can choose from a range of snacks including baguettes, wraps, paninis, sandwiches, salads, soups, and jacket potatoes all with a variety of fillings.
And for those with a sweet tooth there are healthier alternatives, including yogurts and homemade cakes made with reduced fat and sugar, pure fruit juice lollies and local Franks ice-cream.
Each meal and snack has been analysed for nutritional content using the same sophisticated Saffron software used for all the county’s school meals, and the menu is colour-coded to show which options are healthiest.
Sandra Weigel, Catering Service Manager, said: “We are delighted with the success of this new initiative, which we hope to introduce to other schools in the county in the future as an extra point of sale to capture pupils who tend to stay away from the school canteen.
“There are significant benefits to the school and pupils. Children who eat good nutritious meals - as opposed to going off site to local food outlets that sell high fat and sugary foods - will have increased concentration levels.”
The new mobile outlet has been partly grant-funded by the Welsh Government to encourage healthy eating and reduce levels of obesity.
Pic: Coedcae School’s new mobile take-away van which sells healthy fast-food snacks to pupils.