Just a short year ago we decided to provide some options at the school’s Sports Day BBQ. We have tried and tested a few things since then with the support of a fabulous PTA and some have been more successful than others.
The things we have focused on are i) having options ii) being as inclusive as possible.
This sports day was a huge success on both fronts. We offered our standard vegan sausage as an alternative to the regular sausage. We also had fresh fruit smoothies (dairy and non-dairy) as a choice instead of a popsicle. It was great to see students queuing for a fresh food alternative.
Really exciting though was offering all sausages on wheat-meal bread (was supposed to be wholemeal but the bakery messed up!). These were served with optional home-made sugar free tomato sauce and salad (chopped tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce).
The swap to wheat-meal bread and sugar-free sauce was seamless. The salad was interesting as being new a lot of the children were surprised and even confused to see it as an option. Probably 20% took some for their “sandwich”. The feeling is that having it as a permanent choice will normalise it and encourage more students to opt in.
The food environment can have such an impact on our kids choices. Don't we have a responsibility to ensure it's a good one?