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Bayfield High School menu wins excellence award

posted Sep 19, 2015, 6:25 PM by Chris Fortune
Here's food for thought: generally, young people absolutely love pies, chips, lollies and fizzy drinks.

But since all those items have been banished from the Bayfield High School canteen menu and replaced with freshly-made sandwiches, salads and wraps, the canteen has been making more money in a day than it previously did in a week.

The success of the canteen has won the school a New Zealand Heart Foundation Heart Start Excellence Award - the first secondary school in Otago to receive the award.

Principal Judith Forbes was not surprised by the canteen's rise in popularity.

''Some people think that young people might not want to buy and eat healthy food, but actually, there's been enough education around now that young people are just as committed to it as anybody else - and parents are a whole lot happier too.''

The revamped menu came about when pupils and staff decided early last year that their school food was unappealing and unhealthy.

A student health team was established to survey pupils on the matter and ask for healthy food suggestions.

The team then presented their ideas at the Dunedin Health Promoting Schools competition, where it won awards for both having the best ideas and for making the best presentation on the day.

Then, with some help from teaching staff and the New Zealand Heart Foundation, the school created a nutrition policy.

Since then, pies, chips, lollies, fizzy and energy drinks have been replaced by water, juice, fresh sandwiches, wraps and salads - even barista-made coffee can be bought at the canteen.

Mrs Forbes said the business boom was in part because foods were now produced almost entirely from scratch on site, which cut costs; and sales had spiked because pupils were so keen to get their hands on the tastier, healthier and more attractive food being sold.

Year 13 pupil Ruby Shingleton (17) said she bought food at the canteen almost every day because it was fresh, it tasted good and it was healthy.

''It's really good. It actually makes you feel full.

''I used to buy fizzy drinks, pies, cookies and lollies, and I was always really tired and hungry.

''Now I feel really good.''

Mrs Forbes said there had been a noticeable change in pupil behaviour at the school since the menu changes.

''The pupils are more focused after lunchtime.

''In the past, there was a lot of soft drink and lollies being sold in the canteen, and what we've found is that students do settle better to work without that.''

The refreshed menu:
Filled bread buns $4.50
Sweetened breads $2.20
Fruit muffins $2.00
Wraps $4
Bagels $5
Sliders (mini buns) $3 or two for $5
Salads $5 (add extra meat for $1)
Savoury scones $2.50
Bottled water $2; juice $3.50
Freshly made fruit smoothies $5
Coffee, tea and hot chocolate (for year 13 and staff only)

The menu changes with the seasons.