The palates of young children are being developed as a way of encouraging sustainability.
The Holroyd Howe chefs at Vita et Pax Preparatory School, in Southgate, are working closely with pupils to promote alternatives to the most common food choices.
To reduce the amount of food waste, pupils are now given the choice of a small, medium or large portion at lunchtime.
Children are also being encouraged to try new foods to steer them away from making the same choices every time. A taster table is set up one day to introduce pupils to new foods, with those ingredients then featuring on the menu the next day.
Headteacher Allana Gay said: “We are trying to introduce children to new foods. If left to their own devices, some would have pasta and cake every single day. So, we spend a lot of time on developing their palates and explaining to them why cake, in particular, is not a good option every day.
“If you can get children to try something five times, they are then equipped to decide whether they like it or not. Our chefs talk to the children and know them well, so they trust when they say ‘try this, you will like it’. As staff, we all dine with the children, so there are lots of opportunities to discuss food and to offer encouragement.
“We have been focusing on this all term. We have done breadmaking with the children and had a vegetarian week to get pupils to explore how vegetarian meals can be made to look and taste like meat. We also measured the amount of food that goes to waste in school.”
An assembly and workshop has been held to further explain food choices and the issue with food wastage.