International flavours spice up school meals in Leicester
Pupils all over the county were treated to a taste of something a little different yesterday as International School Meals Day inspired kitchens to cook up creative cuisine.
School chefs were busy creating a variety of alternative meals for youngsters, with Chinese, Indian and Mexican dishes on the menus.
About 120 pupils at King Richard III Infant School, in Andrewes Street, Leicester, tucked into a specially-prepared Chinese lunch of noodles, chicken and veg as part of the national day to promote healthy eating at home and at school.
Shanae Newton-Robbins, six, was one of the children testing the cuisine.
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"I like the noodles," she said. "I like the sweetcorn, too. It's nice to have something a bit different."
Staff at the school decorated the dining room with traditional Chinese artwork and included a dragon's head to add to the Oriental flavour.
It was a break from the usual menu, which includes sausage and bean bake, lamb lasagne and fish cakes.
Six-year-old Imaad Parvez said: "Our school dinners are nice, but I don't usually have Chinese food at home."
Head teacher Jenny Barrett said it was important to give the youngsters something different.
"We're a very multicultural school and something like this promotes other food and other countries, so that's positive," she said.
"We've done this once before, when we had Indian food. The cooks are great – it was their idea to have a go at Chinese this year.
"I love Chinese food and I'll occasionally have a school dinner – so I think today might be one of those days."
Other Leicester schools taking part included Soar Valley College which had a Day at the Seaside menu; Mellor Community Primary School, in Checketts Road, which served Mexican dishes, and Bridge Junior School, in Mere Close, which had an Indian theme.
Northfield House Primary School, near Gipsy Lane, had a clean plate day, with each pupil who finished their lunch donating £1 towards a clean water project.
International School Meals Day is open to all schools in the UK and USA.
The event is aimed at celebrating food and promoting healthy living.