School Meals - Guidance

School Meals

Vegetarian meals

At Akaal Primary School, we will be serving only vegetarian meals. Eating only vegetarian meals is traditionally practiced by members of the Sikh religion, and Derby’s Gurdwaras provide vegetarian meals in their all-inclusive free kitchens.

The Gurdwaras promote vegetarian diet and a lifestyle that is healthy, spiritually uplifting and environmentally responsible.

Why vegetarian?

Vegetarian meals are very healthy. A well balanced vegetarian diet is known to give a wide range of health benefits. Research has shown vegetarians suffer less heart disease, have lower blood pressure and are less likely to become obese.

Derby is a multi-faith city and serving vegetarian food, which is acceptable in all faiths, will avoid the school having to use multiple types of meat preparations for pupils of different faiths.

Vegetarian food is better for the environment, as animals demand large amounts of food and water to provide meat. With an increasing world population, diverting scarce resources to provide vegetarian food will enable communities to live more sustainably.

What does that mean for my child?

If your child does not eat meat or fish, then they will be able to continue with their usual diet.

If your child currently eats meat and/or fish then, once a day, they will eat a vegetarian meal at school. This will include healthy proteins and fats derived from pulses (beans, seeds and soya, for example) and will sometimes include dairy products such as cheese. Your child will still be able to eat meat and fish at home for their other meals, of course.

Only a quarter of people manage to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. One vegetarian meal a day at school will go a long way to meeting the 5-a-day requirement.

We hope that all parents will want their children to join others and take a lunch-time vegetarian school meal. Where parents prefer their child to bring a packed lunch, we will not restrict what they bring.

Did you know?

A well balanced vegetarian diet is known to bestow a wide range of health benefits. Research has shown vegetarians to suffer less heart disease, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, various cancers, diverticular disease, bowel disorders, gall stones, kidney stones and osteoporosis.

Vegetarian Society

As populations grow, lowering meat consumption worldwide will allow more efficient use of declining per capita land and water resources, while at the same time making grain more affordable to the world's chronically hungry.

Worldwatch Institute

A substantial reduction of impacts (from agriculture) would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.

United Nations Environment Programme

The current UK population is 62.3 million. Most recent statistics indicate that 2% of adults and children are vegetarian (not eating meat or fish). This amounts to over 1.2 million individuals.

Office for National Statistics (2012)

Avoid fast foods.

Our society is fast diverting from three good meals a day to a snack culture by eating smaller meals throughout the day with little need for cooking.

This has led to a “takeaway culture” and increasing consumption of fast foods. These contain high levels of fat and sugar. In England in 2014, 64% of adults and about 30% of children were overweight or obese.

Curb food & drink emissions

Everyone will agree that school meals should contribute to reduced carbon emissions.

In the UK, 28% of our carbon dioxide emissions come from food and drink production, of which meat is the most important single contributor.

A shift towards a vegetarian diet is an obvious choice to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.