Tag Archives: best practice

Relaunching School Food World AND the inaugural International School Meals Day

School Food World had a bit of stumbling start last year, but we’re re-launching with the hopes of doing a better job of living up to our aims of reporting, promoting, and celebrating best practice in schools catering around the world.

So with our first post of 2013 and marking our relaunch we have the honour of announcing that the inaugural International School Meals Day will take place on March 8th this year.

Many in the catering and school meals industry will be familiar with School Meals Week. In the UK and the US School Meals Week celebrates the many different aspects and benefits of school meals for children in those respective countries. In the UK, the last School Meals Week was an even greater success than previous years with more schools than ever taking part. It also saw the release of this report on the views of parents and the nutritional standards, particularly in respect of Academies being excused from adhering to the standards.

It was hoped originally to link School Meal Week in the UK with the one in the U.S. but differing term times and holiday periods has made that difficult. So instead people on both sides of the pond have set about establishing an International School Meals Day which will hope to highlight and celebrate the importance of school meals all around the world.

The inaugural day and the concept paper behind it is the result of an evolving UK and US relationship centred on practice and policy about promoting healthy eating in schools. For two years caterers and other interested parties on both sides of the Atlantic have been sharing examples through workshops, conferences and study visits to improve best practice in both countries. They also share similar challenges

The aim of International School Meals Day (#ISMD2013) is to focus and publicise the efforts, expertise and successes of both groups, but also allow other caterers around the world to participate and share their own.

The aims of the Day are:

  • To highlight the value of nutrition in school meals around the world and to encourage those involved with school food service to improve the quality and standards of school food.


  • To emphasise the connection between healthy eating and better learning, and to promote the integration of nutrition education into schools’ curricula.


  • To connect children around the world via different media platforms and encourage healthy eating habits and promote wellbeing in schools as a valuable way of life to pass on to future generations.


  • To share school meal programme success stories from across the globe so that others may learn and replicate best practice.


  • To promote and support research activities in school meals programmes to demonstrate their impact on child wellbeing.


  • To raise awareness of hunger and poverty issues worldwide and particularly in developing countries which are being addressed through school feeding programmes, and to highlight successes and those who need support.


Of course individual countries and organisations will have different ideas for how they wish to celebrate International School Meals Day but the organisers have some ideas on how people can join in and support the aims of the day. For instance:

  • Twinning of schools via international education links
  • Have an international menu day
  • Hold fundraising activities to support school feeding programmes in developing countries
  • Add food and global citizenship to the curriculum that day
  • Run cooking activities with an international theme
  • Go mad on social media to highlight innovation in your school
  • Publish your research to coincide with the day
  • Promote your efforts to the media

What other suggestions do you have for celebrating International School Meals Day? Will you get involved?

School Food World aims to support and publicise the first International School Meals Day, so if you plan on getting involved and you’d like to share your activities do contact us via Twitter @SchoolFoodWorld, on Facebook, or email us via info@schoolfoodworld.co.uk.

Let’s get curious.

Aside from the Olympics, the global watchword for today is ‘Curiosity’.

After a nine month journey, NASA has landed the rover Curiosity on Mars and it is already beaming pictures back, giving us a close up glimpse at the red planet’s landscape.

One of the stated aims of the mission is to answer an enduring question that continues to intrigue us earthbound humans – was there ever life on Mars?

It’s a human characteristic to look outward and ponder our place in the universe. Now the Curiosity has made our galaxy a little smaller. Likewise this international sporting spectacle of human endeavour brings nations closer together. While we’re all rooting for our national teams, we can recognise effort and excellence no matter where it appears.

And that is the purpose of this website. In the United Kingdom and in the United States, and undoubtedly in other countries around the world, schools catering has become if not a political hot potato, then at least a massive talking point. Recognition that good eating habits begin at an early age, whilst for many countries obesity is an issue that needs urgent attention, has focussed eyes on schools caterers to find ways of tackling these problems through innovation and best practice in their industry.

But within the UK at least our tendency is to be inward looking. We are good at talking to each other and sharing our successes nationally, but we rarely turn our attention overseas to see what our international colleagues can teach us.

So School Food World aims to redress the balance. The hope is that this will build into a useful resource for those involved in schools catering around the world, to draw on the expertise of their global partners and gather examples of best practice or take inspiration from international innovation.

We aim to report, promote and celebrate stories, news and case studies that demonstrate the best that international schools catering has to offer when it comes to providing healthy, nutritious and sustainable meals for our school children, at best value for schools and parents.

And we aim to remember that for many countries poverty and hunger are more pressing issues than wastage and obesity.

We hope you’ll play a part and send us examples of innovation and best practice when you see them, join the debate and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

So come on, let’s get curious about the world of school food.

Welcome to School Food World.

Hello and welcome to School Food World.

I am still in the process of designing the site but when it’s ready the aim is that this will become a website that reports, promotes and celebrates best practice and innovation in schools catering around the world.

The hope is to create a resource for anyone involved in school meal provision that will help them draw on the experience of others and take inspiration from trail blazing international innovation.

Perhaps one day we will see a World School Food Day, or even bring international school caterers together in a symposium that celebrates excellence and cutting edge creativity, all with the aim of ensuring our school children get the best possible, healthiest, most sustainable food, at the best value – wherever they live in the world.

No matter which country around the world that you work in, if you have news or examples of best practice or innovation that’s worth shouting about, you can email me on info@schoolfoodworld.co.uk.

This website is available in .com and .co.uk formats so it will be easy to find no matter where in the world you’re based.