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Peta Mathias Launches Innovative Food Project

Media release
June 2007

Peta Mathias Launches Innovative Food Project

With issues of childhood obesity, eating disorders and healthy school lunches prevalent in the media recently, Kristin School has launched an innovative new food service: NutriSmart – food for a smart generation.

Kristin School has long been an innovator amongst independent schools, pioneering middle schooling, laptop programmes and the International Baccalaureate, amongst other things.

Executive principal, Peter Clague, says its latest innovation, the Nutrismart Food Project, is a response to a growing awareness of the importance of children’s diet in improving their learning.

NutriSmart launched recently across the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools, offering food that is both nutritious and tasty. Menus have been specially designed by a dietian from the Auckland Public Health Board and the project’s patron, acclaimed food critic Peta Mathias.

As well as the guarantee of delicious and wholesome food, NutriSmart has a focus on service, offering online nutritional information about all products sold in the school; web-based pre-ordering; and swipecard purchase facilities for students.

The school’s newly opened Pavilion Café also serves café-style food and barista coffee to seniors and parents throughout the day. Junior and middle students may access the café’s offerings through a pre-order delivery system.

The café’s menu caters for a wide range of tastes with naan and focaccia rolls, pasta, salad, quiche and frittata, pizza, sushi, and – for dessert – fruit salad, brownies, muffins and biscotti.

To date, the most popular foods are chicken naan rolls, sushi and Jester’s pies (although only the varieties which fall within approved nutritional guidelines are stocked).

The drinks offered now fall within the Waitemata DHB Beverage Guidelines. Bottled water is popular with the students as well as small portions of reduced-fat flavoured milk and yoghurts. Free apples are included in every lunch.

The Pavilion Café is housed in a former sports pavilion, adjacent to the sports fields. It seats 80, is open from 7.30am (for breakfast) until 3.30pm and serves around 200 meals a day. It can also be hired for specific events.

Peta Mathias, who has been involved with the project, says, “I firmly believe that good eating habits start young and affect every area of our lives – our brain power, our physical strength, our emotional wellbeing and our good looks.”

She adds, “Consumer research shows that we now not only want to eat food that tastes good, but we also want it to be safe, promote long life and health, and not harm the environment.”

The school’s nutrition services manager Jo Finlayson says, “We have had very good feedback from students, staff and parents. The students have adapted to the new facilities extremely well with no complaints about where the chocolate bars, donuts, sweets and fizzy drinks have gone.”

The new café is another example of Kristin School’s progressive, forward thinking attitude towards its students’ health and wellbeing.


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