A ‘Healthy Futures’ Partnership between Sodexo and the British Nutrition Foundation is helping to enhance an evidence-based Powering Performance programme introduced at independent schools in the United Kingdom to inspire young people to make informed, healthier and more sustainable food and drink choices,
Powering Performance also empowers chefs at independent schools to support good nutrition by adopting healthier recipe guidelines, bespoke training and feedback supplied as a result of school-based engagement.To inform the development of the Powering Performance programme, the British Nutrition Foundation undertook research through a series of interviews with pupils at seven independent schools to ascertain how the programme can better support school-based activity and also to identify key training areas.
The now imporoved programme is built on a four-pillar framework: sustain, focus, strength and replenish. The pillars help to frame and communicate healthy eating messages. Each of the pillars has their own ‘hero’ ingredients that provide essential nutrients which support young people’s health and wellbeing.
Sodexo chefs complete a nutrition training programme developed and certified by the British Nutrition Foundation enabling them to bring nutrition science to life across a menu, introduce new ingredients to encourage a varied diet and share with students the importance of good nutrition and the impact it can have on their physical and mental wellbeing.
The Powering Performance menu has been refreshed and continues to offer attractive, freshly prepared and tasty menu options that appeal to young people’s tastes and preferences. New recipe toolkits have been developed incorporating nutrition guardrails for saturated fats, sugars and salt.
Rosemary Molinari, Head of Health and Wellbeing, Schools and Universities for Sodexo UK & Ireland, says: “We are delighted that through our Healthy Futures Partnership we have been able to enhance our Powering Performance programme. We know as school caterers that we do have a role to play in supporting students to make informed choices when it comes to food and drink.
“We want to offer more than high quality food and Powering Performance does this.
“Our teams are able to gain expert nutritional training which will enable them to not only create delicious dishes but the confidence to help students develop skills and a lifelong knowledge about food and the impact it has on the body both physically and mentally.
“The school dining hall is an excellent place to support schools, echoing key messages about nutrition and healthy eating being taught in classrooms when enjoying delicious food at mealtimes.”
Sara Stanner, Science Director at the British Nutrition Foundation, adds: “We have been delighted to work in partnership with Independents by Sodexo to update Powering Performance. The updated pillars, nutrition guardrails and training collectively empower chefs to provide healthy, tasty food that has student appeal, while also being reassured that what they offer meets the nutritional needs of young people growing up, studying and being active.
“School years are such an important time for growth and development, so it is vital that students receive a healthy, varied diet that aids concentration during the school day and performance in sports and activities.
“Powering Performance supports this important ambition.”