A healthy, balanced diet is important for everybody and especially for children and young people. As well as the impact on growth and development it can shape their dietary habits for life.
In June 2014 the Scottish Government launched Beyond the School Gate:
This paper highlights four areas for action that will encourage children to eat well:
- Stay on site and alternative outlet provision in schools
- Marketing, promotions and incentives
- Support and guidance for caterers and retailers
- Regulation: Environmental health, licensing and planning
The choice for children within schools is being shaped through Better Eating: Better Learning initiative. It is important we reduce the disparity between what is on offer within schools and with what is available beyond the school gate. Healthier eating choices around schools will not only benefit school children but also the local community as a whole.
We know that young people take an interest in what they are eating and that health benefits are a consideration. However, cost is often the primary concern and the availability of healthier options in close proximity to the school also influences them.
The aim of Beyond the School Gate is to make healthy lunch options an appealing option for both their taste buds and bank balance and to ensure this choice is easily available.