AN ENGLAND rugby legend and a registered dietician were among the lineup from Sodexo to join the debate at the Independent Schools’ Bursars Association (ISBA) catering day.
Sodexo ambassador Matt Dawson and Sodexo head of nutrition & dietetics Wan Mak took the stage with 16-year-old pupil Patrick McCahon from Emmanuel School, Battersea, to give a pupil’s perspective of healthy eating.
Combating obesity in schools, influencing young people’s attitude to healthy eating and snack food spend were among the topics discussed by Matt, Wan and Patrick in front of the 200-strong audience.
Later in the programme, managing director for Sodexo Independent Education Jeremy Alderton joined a panel discussion to talk about the benefits of outsourced catering arrangements.
Sodexo, also the headline sponsor of the annual Health & Vitality Honours, was the only catering provider to appear at the event held on 27 February.
Wan Mak, head of nutrition & dietetics at Sodexo, said at the event: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should be encouraged in schools so children have a good start to their day – supporting their academic or physical performance. However, a third of pupils are still skipping breakfast before going to school.
“Healthy eating also includes keeping well hydrated. Mild dehydration is associated with impaired cognitive function, muscle strength and endurance. Hydration can be through a combination of foods and drinks, with water being the cheapest and most readily available option.”
Patrick McCahon, student at Emmanuel School, said: “Once the conference got underway, I was asked by Matt to give my views on a range of issues relating to nutrition, such as the importance of healthy eating for mental sharpness and physical activity.”
Jeremy Alderton, managing director for Sodexo Independent Education, said: “It was a pleasure to be invited to attend the event, and the session with Matt Dawson, Wan Mak and Patrick really demonstrates what Sodexo brings to independent schools.
“For 45 years, Sodexo has been working with clients in the education market to support academic achievement. We pride ourselves on serving fresh and creative food that inspires, nourishes and maintains the health and wellbeing of pupils. Our breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, packed lunches and match teas are all treated with the same amount of respect and care.”