As celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, discovered when making his groundbreaking Channel 4 series Jamie's School Dinners, it is possible to replace the junk food in school meals with fresh, tasty and nutritious dishes. The Chronicle's own JAMIE OLIVER, went to see the impact the series has made in one Crewe school.
WITH my namesake's healthy-eating roadshow yet to arrive in South Cheshire, I thought I would beat him to the post when I visited a primary school in Crewe.
On my arrival at Edleston Primary School, I was treated like a celebrity chef - I could never figure out why!
While Jamie Oliver's new series highlights the poor standard
of school dinners in Britain, Edleston Primary School stands out as a shining example of a school putting nutritious meals on the menu.
Its cook Tina Goring won a 'Above and Beyond the Call' catering award in October 2004.
She said: 'I basically added more choice to the menu for the children. When I arrived at the school the food was OK but I felt that the menu needed to be changed so I started a snack service for them and provided more home-cooked meals rather than pre-packaged stuff.'
Jamie Oliver's series highlighted that the health of Britain's children needs to improve and that it can be done by educating people.
Changing school meals means children learn about food and get used to eating new dishes.
Tina, who was placed at Edleston by Cheshire Business Services (CBS), added: 'The kids do like to try the food I cook. They love the salads that we make. Sometimes it takes some encouragement but we firmly believe in providing them with a balanced diet.'
The children laughed at my hair and said it was just like the 'real me', and were happy to tell me what they think of their school meals.
Pupil Ben Jones said: 'There's a very good choice of food and the meals are nice and healthy and the dinner ladies are really nice.'
Stacey Jones said: 'I loved the turkey dinner we had at Christmas, and the fruit salads are very tasty.'
Headteacher Rachael Bagni said: 'We have theme days for some of the dinners and we are having one at Easter. We have even invited parents along to try the meals.'
Jamie Oliver told Channel 4 how difficult it was at times to get children, and even parents, to under-stand Britain's obesity problem.
He said: 'Parents come up to me and say their kid eats junk food, and they're all right. They don't realise what the long-term effects are.
'The statistics show that we're growing more obese and getting more diseases linked with poor diet.'