Back to school

What type of school lunch is nutritionally better? Canteen lunch, packed lunch or lunch bought outside the school gate? School lunches contribute significantly to children’s food intake, so it’s key to ensure that the lunchtime meal is as healthy as possible. A large effort has been made to improve the diet of the nation’s school children with the introduction of The Scottish Nutrient Standards for School Lunches (SNSSL) which were adopted by secondary schools in 2006. I recently co-authored two papers that discussed research conducted by Dr Carina Norris on the nutrient intake of children who consumed either a canteen lunch in school, bought a lunch outside the school gates (‘street lunch

Time to up your oats: the fibre challenge

Oats are a source of folate, zinc, iron and potassium and are high in thiamin, phosphorus, copper and magnesium. They are also high in fibre, particularly soluble fibre in the form of beta-glucan (around 5g beta-glucan per 100g oats) which makes up around half the fibre content. There is strong evidence that increased intakes of total dietary fibre, particularly cereal fibre and wholegrains, are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. In the UK, 30g of fibre is recommended per day for adults. This is quite a challenge as the current average fibre intake in the UK is around 18g per day. Therefore, most adults need to double their fibre intake! Around

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