Unique to our city, the Bristol Eating Better Awards celebrate good practice with the aim of improving nutrition and the environmental sustainability of food served in the city. In our latest blog post, Senior Public Health Specialist Bonnie Dimond introduces the new schools-focused award.
The Bristol Eating Better Award is a free award scheme developed and operated by Bristol City Council to reward and promote food businesses that are committed to providing healthier menus and supporting the environment.
This award has recently been adapted for schools and incorporates many of the national School Food Standards. Bristol City Council and all of us involved in the Healthy Schools programme are keen that all Bristol school caterers (or on-site meal providers such as breakfast clubs and after-school clubs providing meals) achieve the Bristol Eating Better Award for Schools (Silver or Gold) to ensure best practice and consistency across schools.
The award has 12 objectives that relate to the Bristol Good Food Plan, the School Food Standards and the more recent Sustainable Food Cities programme. The aim is to provide food that is ‘better for people, better for places and better for the planet’, very much in the spirit of the Going for Gold actions – for example having more meat-free meals.
Within each objective are a number of practical actions that schools can commit to doing. Guidance on each action is provided on the Bristol Eating Better website.
The award is broken down into Bronze, Silver, Gold ‘Core’ actions and some additional actions. In order to get any level of the award, schools must complete all the ‘Core’ actions relevant to that level. There are 21 Bronze ‘Core’ actions which are taken from the national School Food Standards. Three Silver ‘Core’ actions which are consistent with the Bristol Healthy Schools Essential Award criteria, twelve Gold ‘Core’ actions and an additional 16 optional actions. The Gold award is given to schools completing all the Bronze, Silver, Gold ‘Core’ actions and at least 90% of all other relevant actions.
Food providers within the city – for schools or otherwise – can also be part of Going for Gold by committing to and taking the actions outlined in the Catering & Procurement Pledge. As well as taking the pledge, caterers can also explore and sign-up to the actions for individuals and organisations that are relevant to them.
If you are a school, school caterer or on-site meal provider and would like to get involved and have any questions or need any help, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bonnie Dimond is a Senior Public Health Specialist working for Bristol City Council Public Health Team within the Healthy Children & Families programme. Within this role, Bonnie works on the Bristol Healthy Schools programme as one of the Healthy Schools coordinators and leads on food and healthy weight in children.