Cooking up yummy menus with Allegra McEvedy

20210608 Allegra (1)

As part of our commitment to inspire primary school pupils to enjoy wholesome and nutritionally balanced food, we recently launched a range of new recipes for our 2021 September menus. Our menus, which have been analysed by our culinary teams and dedicated nutritionists, also include the new ‘Takeover Tuesday’ menus which were created in collaboration with Allegra McEvedy, CBBC celebrity chef and LEON co-founder.

These menus align with our focus on health and sustainability by ensuring that a quarter of our primary school main dishes are plant-forward. We’ve also made plant-forward lunches readily accessible in Chef Allegra’s Takeover Tuesday menu, with items like ‘Oodles of Noodles’, inspired by a vegetarian Pad Thai recipe, on the menu.

Other delicious Takeover Tuesday recipes include our ‘Poco Loco’ lasagne with beans, squash and a small portion of chicken, and our BBQ Beans and Cornbread recipe packed full of pulses.

On partnering with Chartwells to create our new menus and the Takeover Tuesday initiative, Allegra McEvedy MBE said:

“I’m fanatical about how and what children eat: it’s vital that they eat yummy and nutritious school lunches to feed their bodies and minds. Part of our job is also to broaden their horizons, introducing tasty food that’s good for them in a non-scary way, alongside their usual favourites. This menu delivers on all that across the board.”

At Chartwells, we actively listen to what our pupils and their parents want from our education catering services. We sought feedback from thousands of pupils last year and have kept our findings at the very core of our menu development process.

Nicky Martin, the Head of Nutrition at our parent company, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said:

“We’re excited to be rolling out these new nutritious dishes to the children that we serve. It’s been great to partner with Allegra, whose expertise and enthusiasm for great food can be seen in the dishes that have been created.

“The introduction of Takeover Tuesdays will also further encourage children to try different foods, that we are sure they will love. We have enjoyed doing taste testing with the children, who have provided the new dishes with a resounding thumbs up.

“Increasing plant forward options on our menus provides another way to introduce children to more vegetables, important for both their health as well as the planet.”

Meat Free Mondays have been popular amongst our primary school pupils and their parents for several years, and we also continue to offer at least one vegetarian option every day. This empowers pupils to make healthy dietary decisions while still enjoying the food they love, with plenty of school favourites like fish and chips to choose from.

Our chefs have also created a selection of dessert recipes using vegetables, ensuring primary school pupils can enjoy a sweet treat without compromising on health and nutrition. Now, over 50% of our primary school desserts contain fruit or vegetables.

What’s more, they all meet PHE 20% sugar reduction targets, and where possible, contain fruit, oats or wholegrain flour. Some examples of these include our Chocolate Slice made with cocoa and hidden courgette, our Secret Brownie with sweet potato and beetroot, and our Carrot and Pineapple slice.