A HEALTHY year ahead is planned for pupils at a school near Tenbury.

The chef at Abberley Hall School in is drawing up a menu of meals for 2018 which are not only tasty, but more nutritious than ever.

Victoria Beswick, marketing director at the school, which educates around 250 boarding and day pupils aged between two and 13, said that the kitchen staff always tried to provide good food for the youngsters, and next year would be even healthier.

“We have introduced some new policies which will improve things even further, ensuring that as many ingredients as possible are locally-sourced, which is beneficial for the local economy and environment,” she said.

“Our chef is very serious about improving the diets of young people and is determined that our meals and snacks are as healthy as possible with the majority of food on the menu homemade.

“It is well known that some children have an ‘aversion’ to vegetables so we have adopted a ‘hidden veg’ policy - putting extra veg into our food so they eat it without knowing!

“The school only serves whole wheat pasta, we offer lots of fresh fruit, most deserts are homemade so include less additives and preservatives, sponges are homemade and generally dairy free, a gluten free option is always available, bread rolls are wholemeal with both white and wholemeal bread available and eggs are free range,” Victoria said

The school’s meat is supplied by local butcher Nigel Fredericks and the kitchen is always keen to work with more local suppliers.

“Of course, we have a huge range of sports and outdoor activities here which keep pupils and staff constantly hungry so all in all 2018 should be a very healthy and happy one here at Abberley,” Victoria added.

The school is just one in Tenbury and the Teme Valley that is working to encourage children to have a healthy diet and eat less fat.

Chefs in the other schools including the Tenbury High School and the Primary Schools are responding to a call to help to tackle the growing problem of obesity in children and young people.

According to some experts the problem with poor diet and lack of exercise will mean that despite the improvements in health care the life expectancy of children could be less that their parents.

Other lifestyle factors include the increasing likelihood that children will be driven to school rather than walking. Computer games and social media also make for a more sedentary lifestyle.