Caterer Sodexo promotes issue of ‘building resilience through exercise and nutrition’

Schools health nutrition Sodexo
Reinforcing a positive attitude towards food
18/02/2019 - 09:54
International services provider Sodexo’s private school arm has hosted events that gathered experts to discuss the health and wellbeing of young people.

The two symposia – one in Scotland, one in England – aimed to share best practice and initiatives.

Jeremy Alderton, managing director for Independents by Sodexo, said: “With a lack of exercise and excessive portion sizes driving high levels of obesity among young people, it is more important than ever to ensure they are supported in leading active lives and making positive choices when it comes to health and wellbeing.

“Understanding our consumer is crucial in the development of our menus; we know that young people want variety but they also want food that has integrity.

“Our chefs are continuously developing food choices that reflect the latest food trends, and for this digitally-savvy customer base we also recognise the need for technology which informs and engages students in the nutrition and provenance of their meals.”

In Scotland at the Edinburgh Academy experts Robert Nesbitt from the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and physiotherapist Stephen Martin focused on mental health being part of a whole school ethos.

Then at Reed’s School in Cobham, Michael Hill from charity Rackets Cubed, focused on the area of social impact and mobility.

He said: “Food is such an important part of the work we do with these students. Being able to provide them with a hot, nutritious meal is one of the things that make the programme so successful.

“Once a term we ask a chef to come and talk to the student about the food they are eating and how it fuels the body.

“Children are socially conditioned by eight years old, so this programme helps to reinforce a positive attitude towards food, exercise and education.”

Ben Haining, sports and conditioning coach at Reed’s School shared the school’s approach to ensuring its students’ physical competence is optimised.

“Focusing on self-awareness, the physical effects of poor habits and helping them develop a positive mental approach helps build their resilience.

“Getting their nutrition right is a key part of helping students develop their physical competence. Our relationship with the Sodexo catering team is fundamental to this to ensure the students have healthy meal options that they want to eat.”

Independents by Sodexo plans to follow up later in the year with another symposium at Edinburgh Academy in conjunction with Scottish Council for Independent Schools. Further events are planned in England and Ireland.

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