Food4Health awards guide

Food4Health awards guide
Healthy Eating Awards
Making healthy food choices easy
Making healthy food choices easy
What are Food4Health awards?
Eating out has never been more popular, easy and
accessible. For many people, eating out regularly
is part of their normal diet.
The awards recognise and reward food
businesses that offer healthy food options and
promote healthy eating.
The awards aim to make food generally
healthier and make it easier for customers to
make informed food choices.
Awards are based on the following healthy
eating principles:
For children, eating out includes nursery and
school meals. Parents like to know about the
foods given to their children and that their dietary
needs are being met.
Food consumed outside the home may be higher
in fat, salt and sugar than home cooked meals.
Too much of these in the diet can lead to weight
gain and obesity. Obesity can lead to lifelong
health problems such as high blood pressure,
increased risk of heart disease, type II diabetes,
some cancers and can reduce life expectancy.
Consumers are becoming increasingly aware
of the need to eat healthier foods. They want the
ability to make informed choices about
the foods they buy for themselves and their
family. Giving consumers this ability to choose
healthier food will help to meet consumer
demand and help them to lead healthier
lifestyles.
Food businesses are ideally placed to raise
awareness of healthy eating and contribute to
improving the diet and health of their customers.
1. Food is made generally healthier by
reducing the amount of fat, salt and
sugar and increasing the use of fruit,
vegetables and wholegrains.
2. Catering practices, including food
preparation and cooking methods, are
designed to produce healthier food.
3. Consumers are able to make an
informed choice. Whenever possible,
information on ingredients and cooking
practices is available to consumers.
4. Nutritious food is provided for children.
Children’s meals should meet nutritional
guidelines. Parents must be able to make
an informed choice about the foods their
children eat.
5. Portion sizes are appropriate for a
healthy diet. Smaller portion sizes should
be available for both adults and children.
6. Healthy eating is actively promoted. This
includes pricing, sales and marketing
practices that encourage consumers to
eat healthier foods.
There are three Food4Health awards
The benefits of Food4Health awards
Each award considers the types of foods and
ingredients used, how the food is prepared and
cooked and how the business promotes healthy
eating.
Food businesses have an opportunity to
contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of local people and meet consumer
demand for healthier food options.
Bronze Award
Awards can be used to help publicise your
business and your contribution to improving
public health.
The bronze award recognises
the commitment made by a
food business to make foods
generally healthier. This
includes making changes to
ingredients, food preparation
and cooking methods to
reduce levels of fat, salt and
sugar.
Increased customer satisfaction and a
competitive edge over other similar businesses
will help to increase sales.
Improved recipes, better menu planning and
making changes to food preparation methods
can help reduce food wastage and associated
costs.
Silver Award
The silver award recognises the
commitment made by a food
business to support the healthy
eating principles.
The business offers a selection
of healthier food options which
are clearly labelled and
promoted.
Gold Award
The gold award recognises the
commitment made by a food
business to ensure foods offered
are nutritionally balanced and
customers are able to make fully
informed food choices.
The business actively promotes
healthy eating and seeks
participation in responsible
business practices.
Businesses working towards achieving an award
receive free advice and support on nutrition and
healthy catering practices.
Businesses that achieve the award will receive a
certificate and free promotional materials.
Management and staff can develop their
knowledge and skills on healthy eating and
healthy catering practices.
Food4Health awards are free
Most businesses should be able to achieve an
award without additional costs. Any costs that do
occur are likely to include printing new menus or
other business documentation, buying new
equipment if necessary and there may be costs
for staff training. Any costs that are incurred
should be minimal and will be an investment in
the business.
Who can apply for an award?
The awards are available to most food businesses.
This includes restaurants, takeaways, hotels,
public houses that serve meals, cafés, canteens,
home caterers, children’s day nurseries and
sandwich shops that make sandwiches to order.
Retailers that only sell pre-packed foods may not
be eligible for an award. This will depend on the
level of control over the composition and labelling
of the foods they sell.
Food businesses wishing to apply for an award
must have demonstrated good hygiene standards
and have a food hygiene rating of 3 or above.
Visit www.food.gov.uk/ratings for more
information on the hygiene rating scheme.
How long do awards last?
Awards recognise the business’s achievement in
providing healthier foods. Although awards do
not expire they will be reviewed every two years.
Food4Health awards are part of the
Food4Health programme. This includes
Food4Health: Early Years, which provides
specific guidance on the nutritional needs of
young children. In addition, guidance on healthy
eating and healthy cooking is provided and
support is available to businesses seeking to
improve the nutritional quality of the food they
serve.
Advice and guidance is freely available to all
food businesses to help them meet consumer
demands for healthier foods and help them to
make healthy food choices.
For more information visit
www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/food4health
or email [email protected]
Bronze Award Criteria
The following criteria are based on everyday standard practice.
Advice on how to achieve the criteria is given in the guidance section.
1. Fats and oils used in cooking are unsaturated (poly or mono-unsaturated) whenever possible.
2. If oil is used in frying it is used at the correct temperature (see guidance section).
3. If chips are served they should be thick-cut.
4. Lean cuts of meat are used whenever possible.
5. Excess fat is drained, skimmed or trimmed from food before serving.
6. Skin is removed from poultry before cooking (except when roasting).
7. Skimmed, semi-skimmed or 1% milk is used, unless whole milk is required for nutritional purposes,
for example milk in young children’s food and drink.
8. Sauces and dressings should be optional and low-fat varieties must be available.
9. Butter and spreads should be optional for use in sandwiches and jacket potatoes and should be lowfat whenever possible.
10. Low-fat fillings are available for sandwiches and jacket potatoes.
11. Salt should not be added to food and reduced-salt products should be used whenever possible.
12. Desserts and cakes should contain as little sugar as possible.
13. Low-sugar/sugar-free drinks (including water) and sweeteners for hot drinks are available.
14. Sugar should not be added to food and reduced-sugar products should be used whenever possible.
15. Whenever possible, food is grilled, baked, steamed or poached, rather than fried.
16. A bronze award pledge has been signed and will be displayed in the establishment.
Silver Award Criteria
Criteria 1 to 16 must be met before progressing to the Silver Award.
Advice on how to achieve the criteria is given in the guidance section.
17. Fish, especially oily fish, should be available on the menu whenever possible.
18. Starchy foods such as rice or boiled potatoes are available with main meals.
19. Chips are not served as standard. If served they must be optional only.
20. Vegetables or salad are available and included with main meals.
21. Vegetables are steamed if possible. If boiled they are cooked in as little water as possible and
boiled for the shortest amount of time.
22. Fruit is always available (see guidance on using tinned fruit).
23. Red and processed meat (for example; bacon, sausages, ham and salami) is limited on the menu
whenever possible.
24. Wholemeal or other high-fibre products should be available.
25. Flour products (for example bread and scones) should be made from wholemeal flour, or a blend
of wholemeal and white flour.
26. Confectionary (for example; sweets and chocolate) is not prominently displayed.
27.
A silver award pledge has been signed and will be displayed in the establishment.
28. Pricing policy encourages customers to choose healthier food items.
29. Low or sugar-free drinks (including water) are available and displayed more prominently than
sugary soft drinks.
30. Smaller portions are available for adults and children (half to a third of a standard portion).
31. Catering staff are aware of the Food4Health healthy eating principles and are able to promote the
healthier options.
Gold Award Criteria
Criteria 1 to 31 must be met before progressing to the Gold Award.
Advice on how to achieve the criteria is given in the guidance section.
32. Recipes, food preparation and cooking methods are designed to produce healthier foods.
33. Menu items have been selected to be nutritionally balanced.
34. Nutritious food is provided for children.
35. A gold award pledge has been signed and will be displayed in the establishment.
36. Sales and marketing practices encourage customers to choose healthier options.
37. Menus indicate the availability of products (for example; smaller portions / wholegrain / locally
sourced) to allow customers to make informed choices.
38. Healthier foods are prominently displayed and promoted.
39. Catering staff are knowledgeable about the healthier food options (for example; what makes
them healthier) and are able to promote and advise customers accordingly.
40. Key staff should have received suitable and sufficient nutrition awareness training.
41. The business actively seeks participation in responsible business practices, which may include
sourcing local food, sustainable fish and fair trade products and promoting the breast feeding
welcome scheme.
Award Criteria Guidance
The following guidance is not exhaustive. You may be able to demonstrate other ways to meet the criteria.
1. Fats and oils used in cooking are unsaturated (polyunsaturated or monounsaturated) whenever
possible.

Olive, walnut, peanut, rapeseed, groundnut, linseed, and canola oils are examples of monounsaturated
fats that can be used in cooking. Oils that are made from nuts are known as allergens and their use
must be declared to the consumer either on a menu or label, or customers must be directed to where
allergen information is available, for example a sign saying ‘Food Allergens: Please speak to our staff
about your requirements’.

Corn oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, soy and cottonseed oil are examples of
polyunsaturated fats that can be used. (Soy oil is a food allergen (see above)).

Saturated fats such as lard, suet, butter, ghee and coconut oil should be avoided, but if used they must
be in small amounts.

Trans-fats (either hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated) must be avoided as they are classed as
saturated fats. The use of hydrogenated fats must be declared by the manufacturer / supplier on their
product labels.

Use only small amounts of oil in cooking and, where possible, use spray oils.
 Vegetable oils are usually made by blending several oils such as soya, rapeseed, sunflower, maize and
palm kernel oils. They are then refined to remove the protein and are less likely to cause allergic
reaction in consumers with allergen sensitivities. However, some speciality oils such as sesame oil,
groundnut (peanut) oil and walnut oil are not refined and can cause an allergic reaction in people
sensitive to the seed or nut. (See allergen advice above).
2. If oil is used in frying it is used at the correct temperature.

The normal temperature range for deep frying equipment is 165°C to 190°C (330°F to 375°F).This is a
general guide so always check the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct use of your specific deepfat fryer.

Avoid frying at lower temperatures as this takes longer and the food absorbs more oil.

Turn down fryers when not in use and change oil regularly.

Filtering oil and cleaning the fryer regularly will help increase the life of the oil.

If oil begins to have a distinct odour or flavour, it means it is deteriorating and should be replaced with
fresh oil.

Use as little oil as possible when frying and drain off any excess.
3. If chips are served they should be thick cut.

Chips that are straight cut or steak cut and thick absorb less fat.

Avoid thin cut, skinny, curly, crinkle cut chips or French fries.

Avoid using saturated fats such as dripping, suet, ghee or palm oil for frying.

As a guide pre-cut chips should have a thickness of at least 14mm.

Frozen chips should be cooked from frozen as this will reduce the amount of fat absorbed. Avoid
allowing frozen chips to thaw before cooking.

Chips start to absorb fat when they are taken out of the cooking oil so shake and tap the basket at least
three times after frying to reduce the amount of fat absorbed. Dabbing kitchen roll on the chips after
cooking will help to remove more fat.

Drain the chips for at least 30 seconds before serving.

If possible use oven-baked chips.
4. Lean cuts of meat are used whenever possible.

Buy leaner cuts of meat whenever possible. As a guide, this means a meat content of 70% or more and
meat that is not mechanically recovered (MRM).

If serving meat products such as sausages and burgers they should have a high meat content (more
that 70% meat) and low salt content (less than 0.3g of salt per 100g).

Choose back bacon rather than streaky bacon.

Use lean minced meat and drain off excess fat after the meat is first cooked.
5. Excess fat is drained, skimmed or trimmed from food before serving.

Drain excess fat from food after cooking and before serving. Use a sieve where possible.

Skim excess fat off mincemeat, casseroles, gravy, stews and curries.

Trim as much visible fat as possible from meat before cooking and before serving.
6. Skin is removed from poultry before cooking (except when roasting).

Remove the skin from poultry before cooking, except when roasting, as chicken skin is very high in
saturated fat.

When roasting, drain off excess fat. Roasting on a rack allows more fat to drain off.
7. Skimmed, semi-skimmed or 1% milk is used unless whole milk is required for nutritional purposes,
for example milk in young children’s food and drink.

Milk used in drinks such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate and milkshakes should be skimmed, semiskimmed or 1% fat, except if the customer specifically asks for full fat milk to be used.*

Skimmed, semi-skimmed or 1% fat milk is used in recipes instead of full fat.
*Children’s Nurseries – please see extra guidance
8. Sauces and dressings should be optional and low-fat varieties must be available.

Sauces or dressings should not automatically be added to meals. Customers should be asked if they
want these on their food.

Offer low-fat (less than 3%) dressings such as low-fat salad cream and low-fat mayonnaise.

Use oils as salad dressings sparingly.

Some salad dressings may also contain unrefined nut oils which may cause allergic reactions so take
note of the ingredients contained in the dressings.

Adding lemon and spices to salads can improve the taste and is a healthier option.

Use lower fat sauces such as tomato based ones as an alternative to creamy based sauces such as
carbonara or korma as these are high in fat.

Use skimmed or semi skimmed milk, low fat yoghurt or fromage frais in sauces instead of cream.

Avoid using roux-based (flour and fat) sauces. Thicken sauces using alternatives such as cornflower or
arrowroot.

Give customers the option of choosing if they want their desserts, puddings and cakes plain or served
with cream, custard or ice-cream.
9. Butter and spreads should be optional for use in sandwiches and jacket potatoes and should be lowfat whenever possible.

Give customers the option of having butter or other spreads in their sandwiches – don’t add these
automatically.

Offer low-fat, mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated spreads such as margarine instead of butter.

If the customer opts to have butter or spread use minimal amounts.
10. Low-fat fillings are available for sandwiches and jacket potatoes.

Limit the number of sandwich fillings that are made using mayonnaise or use small amounts of low-fat
mayonnaise (less than 3% fat).

Use grated reduced-fat hard cheese rather than sliced as you will use less.

Some healthier sandwich and jacket potato fillings could include:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
Tuna, cucumber, sweet corn, peppers, onion
Salmon, cucumber, peppers
Tinned sardines
Chicken breast (without skin), turkey/ham salad
Reduced fat grated cheese and pickle
Hardboiled egg and cress
Low-fat varieties of cheese such as cottage cheese and reduced-fat cheddar
11. Salt should not be added to food and reduced-salt products should be used whenever possible.

Low-salt foods have a sodium content of less than 0.1g per 100g. This is equivalent to 0.3 grams of salt.

Use reduced-salt (30% less salt than original) products such as gravies, stock cubes, tomato ketchup and
baked beans, where possible.

Limit the use of stock cubes and other salty condiments.

Limit the use of processed foods such as meats and canned products as they can be high in salt

Canned vegetables should be in water not brine. If using vegetables in brine or salt water they must be
drained and rinsed in fresh water before use.

Where possible, limit the use of cooking sauces as they can be high in salt, sugar and fat. Try making
your own sauces from scratch.

Salted water should not be used when cooking rice, pasta, potatoes or vegetables.

Use minimal amounts of salt, if at all, when preparing dishes.

Use other flavourings when cooking. This could include spices such as cumin, turmeric, paprika, black
pepper, chilli, ginger, garlic, garam masala. Fresh herbs such as parsley, coriander, thyme, mint and basil
could be added to pasta, vegetable and meat dishes.

Avoid adding salt to dishes prepared using cooking sauces or stocks such as soya sauce and oyster
sauce.

Avoid adding salt to dishes that have naturally high sodium content, for example smoked fish, meats or
foods preserved in salt such as bacon and cheese.

Do not add salt to sandwiches.
12. Desserts and cakes should contain as little sugar as possible.

If canned fruit is used it is tinned in natural/unsweetened juice not syrup.

Reduce the sugar content of desserts and cakes by sweetening with dried, pureed or fresh fruit.

Provide fruit-based desserts or puddings as an alternative to high sugar varieties. Use fruit puddings
that are not based on a pastry or cream mix.

Adopt baking recipes that use little sugar, for example; scones and tea breads.

Offer fruit cakes without butter or sugary icing.

Desserts, cakes, cereal bars and other foods containing sugar are best consumed at meal times and this
practice should be promoted whenever possible.
13. Low-sugar/sugar free drinks (including water) and sweeteners for hot drinks are available.

Unsweetened fruit juice such as pure fruit juice should be available as an alternative to fizzy drinks.

Where possible, sugary drinks (including fresh fruit based drinks) should be promoted at meal times
only and not throughout the day as this will help to prevent tooth decay.

Drinks available should include healthier options such as sugar free flavoured water (less than 0.5
grams of sugar per 100 millilitres), sparkling fruit drinks made with 100% fruit juice and no added
sugar and sugar-free soft drinks (less than 0.5 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres).

Provide artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar.
14. Sugar should not be added to food and reduced-sugar products should be used whenever possible.

Add as little sugar as possible, if at all, when preparing food.

Reduced-sugar ingredients (30% less than original) should be used where possible.

Use tinned pulses and vegetables without added sugar.

Use less sugar in baking and alternatively sweeten with natural sugar such as dried or pureed fruit.

Omit sugar from savoury recipes where possible.

Check the label for hidden sugar in readymade sauces and other confectionary. Look for words like
sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, maltose, lactose, malt syrup, honey and treacle on the label.
15. Whenever possible, food is grilled, baked, steamed or poached rather than fried.

Grill or oven bake foods such as chicken, burgers, fish, chips and sausages instead of frying.

Offer poached, scrambled or boiled eggs as an alternative to fried eggs.

Consider boiling, braising, pot roasting, steaming, stewing, stir frying and dry frying as alternative
cooking methods.
16. A bronze award pledge has been signed and will be displayed in the establishment

The owner / manager has signed the bronze award pledge and displayed it in the establishment.
17. Fish, especially oily fish, should be available on the menu whenever possible.

Ensure that if canned fish is used it is in spring water or tomato and not in brine or salt.

White fish should be available on the menu. It should be grilled, baked or poached rather than fried
in batter.

Oily fish such as Tuna, Carp, Trout, Kipper, Anchovies and Pilchards should be available on the menu
wherever possible.

Oily fish could be fresh, frozen or canned (except tuna which must be fresh to be classed as oily fish).
18. Starchy foods such as rice or boiled potatoes are available with main meals.

Make starchy foods the main part of most meals.

Serve bread with soups, salads and main meals. Breads could include rolls, bagels, wraps and tortillas.

Avoid adding excess fat such as butter during cooking and serving as this adds extra calories to the
meal.

Avoid serving high-fat breads such as croissants and offer healthier options such as pitta or tea cakes.

Use potatoes to bulk-up dishes including soups, casseroles, stews or mince dishes
19. Chips are not served as standard. If chips are served they must be optional only.

Do not offer chips as standard

Offer healthier alternatives such as boiled new potatoes or sweet potatoes in place of chips. Other
alternatives could include baked or mashed potatoes, boiled rice, couscous, yam, cassava, fufu,
plantain, roti, bulgur wheat and boiled noodles.
20. Vegetables or salad are available and included with main meals.

Vegetables and/or salad should be offered as part of any meal.

A portion of vegetables could include boiled, steamed, tinned, frozen or microwave varieties. Mushy
peas also count.

If using canned vegetables, choose brands with no added salt or sugar.

Dishes can be made healthier by adding more vegetables. Even if vegetables are not the main part of
the dish they will add more flavour and nutrients.

Potatoes are not classed as vegetables but are starchy foods.

Add vegetables like grated carrot into dishes such as fish and meat recipes, rice dishes and soups to
bulk them up.

Add more fresh vegetables to sandwich fillings.

If salad is served, lemon juice could be sprinkled to make it tastier.

Salads could consist of various mixes of tomatoes, cucumbers, grated carrot, peppers, lettuce, cabbage,
olives, beetroot etc.

Sunflower/sesame seeds could be sprinkled on salads rather than bacon bits, but make sure you tell
customers as some people have seed allergies.

Using lemon, lime or vinegar based dressings in salad helps reduce vitamin C loss as vitamin C is more
stable in acidic conditions.

Salad can also be used as a side dish for curry or placed in a burger.
21. Vegetables are steamed if possible. If boiled they are cooked in as little water as possible and
boiled for the shortest amount of time.

Steam or boil vegetables in as little water as possible. Cook in the shortest amount of time possible.

Avoid overcooking vegetables and serve them as soon as possible.

After boiling vegetables use the water to make stock, gravy or sauce as it will contain nutrients from the
vegetables.

Avoid cutting vegetables into very small quantities as this can lead to vitamin loss when cooking.

Avoid preparing vegetables to early as warm holding causes vitamin loss. It will also affect the texture
and taste of the vegetables.

Avoid leaving vegetables in water for long periods as water soluble vitamins such as vitamins B and C
will leach out and be lost.
22. Fruit is always available.

Fruit includes fresh, frozen, tinned, and dried fruit.

Use tinned fruit in its own juice rather than syrup.

If serving fruit salads use unsweetened fruit juices rather than syrup.

Substitute high-fat and high-sugar desserts with fruit based desserts such as fruit crumble, fresh fruit
salad, and stewed seasonal fruit.
23. Red and processed meat (for example bacon, sausages, ham, and salami) is limited on the menu
whenever possible.

Processed meat is meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing salting or adding preservatives and
includes bacon, sausages, ham and salami.

Red meat includes beef, lamb, pork, venison, veal and goat.

Reduce red and processed meat in dishes such a stews and casseroles and bulk up with vegetables,
beans and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans).

Reduce portion sizes of processed meat, if offering three sausages on a cooked breakfast reduce to two
and add extra mushrooms, tomato or toast.

Use turkey, pork or a non-meat alternative (such as Quorn) mince in lasagnes, spaghetti bolognese and
cottage pies.

Offer a choice of sandwich and jacket potato fillings that use white meat, fish or vegetables.

Offer alternative fillings to pies including fish and chicken instead of steak.

Offer the option of chicken, fish and vegetable burgers alongside beef burgers.

If serving roasted meats offer chicken or turkey alongside red meat.
24. Wholemeal or other high-fibre products are always available.

Offer bread products such as pitta, chapatti or bread rolls with all meals.

When serving bread, ask customers if they would prefer wholegrain bread as opposed to plain white
bread.

Let your customers know that whole wheat options such as brown rice or pasta are available on
request.

Include other wholegrain options such as bulgur, millet, barley, buckwheat or a mix of whole wheat
and plain white flour where possible in meals.

If breakfast is offered ensure a selection of cereals that include high fibre options such as porridge,
oats, Weetabix, or all bran is available.
25. Flour products (for example bread and scones) should be made from wholemeal flour, or a blend
or wholemeal and white flour.

Make pastries and cakes with wholemeal flour or a blend of wholemeal (50%) and plain white flour
(50%), whenever possible.

Make desserts (for example; crumble toppings) with wholemeal flour or a blend of wholemeal (50%)
and plain white flour (50%) where possible.

Add oats to crumble toppings and biscuit recipes to increase the fibre

If bread is baked on the premises, wholemeal flour or a mix of wholemeal (50%) and white flour (50%)
is recommended.
26. Confectionary (for example; sweets and chocolate) is not prominently displayed.

Confectionary includes sweets and chocolates

Do not offer confectionary at point of sale, instead offer a fruit bowl or savoury snacks such as rice
cakes or baked crisps.

Display healthier options such as fruit, natural yoghurt more prominently, for example, at eye level .
27. A silver award pledge has been signed and will be displayed in the establishment.

The owner / manager has signed the silver award pledge and will display it in the establishment.
28. Pricing policy encourages customers to choose healthier food items.

Reduce the amount of meat in dishes or sandwiches and increase the amount of vegetables added to
dishes and you could reduce cost. These savings can be passed on to the customer.

Price healthier options more favourably to encourage customers to choose them.

Customers could be encouraged to choose healthier options, for example meal deals that offer free
fruit or 2 for 1 on healthier dishes.
29. Low or sugar-free drinks (including water) are available and are displayed more prominently than
sugary soft drinks.

Display the healthier drink options more prominently, for example, at eye level.

Promote low or sugar free drinks, for example; pure 100% juice could be made cheaper than fizzy
drinks. Your customers should be encouraged to choose the healthier option.

Clearly label healthier option drinks. If your business has vending machines, highlight the healthier
option drinks where possible.
30. Smaller portions are available for adults and children (half to a third of a standard portion).

Offer smaller portions of foods or dishes to children and adults who request it. These should be offered
at a favourable price.
31. Catering staff are aware of the Food4Health healthy eating principles and are able to promote the
healthier options.

Catering staff should have a reasonable knowledge on the basics of healthy eating and should be
encouraged to learn more about healthy eating. Leaflets, posters and guides on healthy eating should
be available to staff and discussed at staff meetings.

Ensure all staff are aware of all the healthier options that are available on the menu.

Staff should be able to encourage customers to choose healthier options. For example, offering salad,
vegetables or baked potatoes as an alternative to chips, and informing customers about smaller
portions.
32. Recipes, food preparation and cooking methods are designed to produce healthier foods.

Recipes and methods of preparing and cooking food should be carefully selected so that they can
produce healthier foods.
33. Menu items have been selected to be nutritionally balanced.

Before meals have been placed on the menu they have been nutritionally assessed as meeting the EatWell Guide standards. They should have the required proportion of all the four food groups (starchy
foods; milk and dairy; meat, fish and alternatives and fruit and vegetables).

In cases where the Eat-Well Guide standards are not applicable, for example, nurseries, the business
has nutritionally assessed the meals as meeting the nutritional requirements of the consumer.

The business is able to provide clear information to its customers on food ingredients used, cooking
methods and nutrient content of foods.
34. Nutritious food is provided for children.

Children’s meals must be nutritious. They should meet relevant nutritional guidelines and should be an
appropriate portion size.

Water or drinks that are low sugar or sugar free such as pure juices, dilute juice or milk should be
offered with children’s meals. If fizzy drinks are provided in the establishment, low or sugar free
varieties must always be available for children.

Provide milk and unsweetened fruit juice as an alternative to sugary drinks.

Chips should not be included with children’s meals. If they are served they should be offered as a side
order only.

Children’s meals must be priced appropriately.
35. A gold award pledge has been signed and will be displayed in the establishment.

The owner / manager has signed the Gold Award pledge and displayed it in the establishment.
36. Sales and marketing practices encourage customers to choose healthier options.

Encourage customers to ask about healthy eating and the healthy options available.

Use marketing products such as table-top information cards, leaflets, posters, banners and flyers to
inform customers about your healthy options.

Inform your customers about the broad changes you have made to the way you prepare food. For
example statements such as ‘We use semi-skimmed milk in all recipes’, or ‘We use low-fat mayonnaise’.

Place information about the award on your website, intranet or company newsletter.

Have promotional events to encourage healthy eating. For example, customer-taster sessions, price
incentives and offering free fruit.

Promotional material could be used alongside healthy options but care should be taken to ensure they
are not put alongside less healthy food items.
37. Menus indicate the availability of products (for example; smaller portions, wholegrain, locally
sourced) to allow customers to make informed choices.

Menus state that smaller portions are available on request.

Menus state the availability of wholegrain and wholemeal products such as breads and pasta.

Menus state if food is locally sourced, fair trade.
38. Healthier foods are prominently displayed and promoted.

Fresh fruit should be available everyday and be promoted to customers.

You could arrange the counter so that healthier foods are displayed at the front and foods such as
biscuits and crisps are at the back of the counter.

The promotion of sweets and sugary drinks should be avoided.

Customers should be clearly informed which foods are the healthier options. Customers must be able
to make a fully informed choice about which foods to eat.

Specific nutritional claims must be supported. Certain terms such as low-fat may have legal definitions.

Offer healthier options at attractive prices and use in-house promotions to encourage customers to
choose healthier options.
39. Catering staff are knowledgeable about the healthier food options (for example what makes them
healthier) and are able to promote and advise customers accordingly.

All key staff have been trained on the types of foods served and the basic nutrients these foods contain.

All key staff can explain clearly to customers what the healthier options on the menu are, and why they
are healthier options.

Ensure all staff have an awareness of the ingredients in the healthier options so customers who ask can
be given adequate information. Provide nutritional information in the form of cards or leaflets
wherever possible.
40. Key staff should have received suitable and sufficient nutrition awareness training.

Catering staff should receive suitable nutrition awareness training.

All members of staff involved in food preparation and service should be aware of the importance of
reducing fat, sugar and salt in foods prepared and served and how this is being achieved. They should
be able to demonstrate this knowledge at a basic level.

Use training and staff meetings to make staff aware of what healthier options are available on the
menu.
41. The business actively seeks participation in responsible business practices which may include
sourcing local food, sustainable fish and fair trade products and promoting the breast feeding
welcome scheme.

Businesses should actively seek participation in responsible business practices which may include
sourcing local food, sustainable fish and Fairtrade products and promoting the breast feeding welcome
scheme.

Local food means sourcing products from within a 50 mile radius of Middlesbrough (the area covered
approximately by County Durham and North Yorkshire).

If products are not available locally, try to identify items made or grown within the UK.

For more information on sourcing local food visit the ‘Growing
Middlesbrough’ website (www.growingmiddlesbrough.org.uk). If the business
satisfies certain criteria related to local food it can be included on the Growing
Middlesbrough database.

Aim to source Fairtrade items where possible. Fairtrade products can include
sugar, coffee, bananas and chocolate and will bear the Fairtrade logo.

The food business may be able to take part in Middlesbrough’s Fairtrade Town
programme. Contact Middlesbrough Environment City (www.menvcity.org.uk) for
further information.

Aim to source sustainable fish where possible. Choosing sustainable fish protects
fish stocks as a food source for the future. Look for fish that is certified with the
MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) logo.

For more information on sustainable fish visit the Sustainable Fish Cities website
(www.sustainweb.org/sustainablefishcity/how_can_i_help). For information on
becoming an MSC certified food retailer visit www.msc.org/get-certified/.

For more information on the Breast Feeding Welcome scheme visit the Breast
Feeding Welcome website (www.breastfeedingwelcomscheme.org.uk).
Specific Guidance for Nurseries
Milk and dairy

Infants under 12 months should be given breast milk or an appropriate infant formula.

Children aged 12 months to 2 years should be given full fat milk and dairy products as they require a
higher fat intake. This is because fat has more than twice the calories of protein or carbohydrate and
foods containing fat can provide lots of calories in a small quantity.

There is no need to worry about too much fat for children under 2 as they need to get enough calories
and eat a wide variety of foods.

Children aged 2 to 5 years can be given semi-skimmed (provided the child is a good eater and has a
varied diet), otherwise full fat milk should be given.

Avoid giving children unpasteurised milk and milk drinks with added sugar.

Avoid using soft and unpasteurised cheeses in children’s meals.

Children over 2 years should have their diets more similar to an adult and care must be taken to ensure
their diet does not contain too much fat, especially saturated fat, which is found in cheese, biscuits,
pastry and cake.
Salt

Salt must not be used in the preparation of food for under 5s

Low salt ingredients should be purchased wherever possible. Sometimes bread and other ingredients
can have hidden salt. Any product that has a salt content more than 1.5g per 100g is considered high.
Use products with 0.3g or less of salt per 100g.

Try making your own stock or gravy, instead of using cubes or granules. If this is not possible try to use
low-salt stock or bullion and use less of it.
Drinks

If fruit juices or diluted juices are available they should be diluted at least 1 part juice to 10 parts water
and given only at meal times as this helps to prevent tooth decay.

Frequent use of fruit drinks including baby juices should be discouraged as they can encourage a sweet
tooth and contribute to dental disease. This is because fruit juices can be quite acidic and erode tooth
enamel, especially in young children.

Children should be discouraged as much as possible from having fizzy drinks and squashes as they can
cause tooth decay.

Tea and coffee are not suitable hot drinks for under 5s as they contain tannic acid, which interferes
with iron absorption.

Children’s teeth are most susceptible to tooth decay so babies and young children should not be given
drinks/juices that contain sugar in bottles or feeders. An open-cup or beaker should be used.

Milk and water should be actively promoted as main drinks for children.
Water

Tap water is suitable for infants over 6 months old but should be boiled and cooled for younger infants.

If bottled water is given to children, ensure it is suitable as natural mineral water may have a mineral
content that is unsuitable for babies.

Still bottled spring water must be checked to ensure it is suitable for infant feeding and should be
treated the same as tap water- boiled and cooled for infants under 6 months.
Fibre

Raw bran should never be given to children as it can cause bloating, wind, loss of appetite and it can
affect the absorption of useful nutrients.

High-fibre cereals such as whole grain should be given to children in moderation as they are bulky and
fill children up quickly.

Wholemeal bread should be offered as an option to children.
Cereals

Sugary breakfast cereals such as sugar coated flakes or chocolate flavoured cereals should be avoided.

Cereals with more than 22.5g of sugar per 100g are considered high. Use cereals with 5g or less of
sugar per 100g.

Porridge, puffed wheat, Weetabix, crisped rice or flaked wheat are examples of cereals that may be
offered to children as they contain less sugar and salt

Avoid giving cereals with nuts or small particles to children as they can become a choking hazard.
Fruit and Vegetables

Under 5s in child care should have fruit and vegetables as part of their main meals.

Staff should also provide opportunities for children to try new types of fruit and vegetables during
snack time.

If fruit contains stones/pips which could be a choking hazard to children ensure these are removed
before offering them.
Fruit and vegetable suggestions for snack times:
1/2 medium carrot cut into sticks
1 small celery stick cut into pieces
4 small tomato quarters
1/2 to 1 small banana
1 plum
1 slice of melon/pineapple
1 small orange/ clementine/ satsuma
1 tablespoon of berries such as
blackberries and/or raspberries
2-3cm piece of cucumber cut into sticks
4 cherry tomatoes sliced
1 ring of red/yellow/green pepper
1/2 apple or pear
1/4 -1/2 large orange
4-6 strawberries
8-10 grapes sliced
Spreads

Avoid giving peanut butter and other nut spreads to infants under 6 months.

If butter is used it should be unsalted. Unsaturated spreads are healthier.
Lunch

An item from each of the four food groups (fruit and vegetables, starchy foods, meat, fish and
alternatives and milk and dairy foods) should be provided for each child at lunch time each day.

Children need regular meals that are nutrient and energy rich to enable them to meet their needs for
physical activity and growth so the menu should reflect this.
Fish

Ensure fish dishes are free of bones.

To reduce the risk of food poisoning, avoid giving children raw shellfish. It can also cause allergic
reaction in certain children.

Oily fish should be available at least once every 3 weeks.
Oily fish
White fish and non-oily fish
Anchovies
Eel
Herring
Kipper
Mackerel
Pilchards
Salmon
Sardines
Whitebait
Sprats
Tuna (fresh only)
Trout
Cod
Coley
Dover sole
Flounder
Haddock
Hake
Halibut
John dory
Lemon sole
Monkfish
Plaice
Pollack
Red and grey mullet
Red snapper
Rock salmon
Sea bass
Sea bream
Whiting
Skate
Turbot
Tinned tuna

White fish should be available at least once a week (not fried or in batter).

If processed fish products are served, such as fish fingers or fish bites, limit to once a week.
Healthy Eating Promotion

Themed activities around healthy eating should be done regularly.

Parents could be educated about healthy eating through leaflets, posters, newsletters or even
cooking classes.

Fruit and vegetables could be grown (in pots, allotments or nursery gardens) to offer some
knowledge to children of where fruit and vegetables come from.

Staff should also lead by example by sitting and eating with children

Staff should talk with parents and children about different healthy food and drink options available.

Encourage children to eat healthily by trying different foods.
Terms and Conditions
The award scheme aims to improve the health of people in Middlesbrough by encouraging healthy
eating. The scheme supports local food businesses to meet consumer demand for healthier foods.
Businesses that receive an award have demonstrated they meet the relevant award criteria. The award
scheme does not include an assessment of food quality, including its taste, texture or appearance.
The award is not an endorsement of any business practice or quality of service.
In offering the award scheme to businesses in Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough Council will provide
support to businesses to help them achieve awards. The level of support provided will be subject to the
needs of individual applicants and on the ability of the Council to meet those needs.
The support offered may include advice on healthy eating, awareness of nutritional standards, and tools
and guidance on promoting healthier eating and healthy lifestyles to customers.
Awards recognise the business’s achievement in providing healthier foods. Although awards do not
expire they will be reviewed every two years.
Visits may be made to establishments that have achieved an award. The aim of such visits is to check that
establishments continue to satisfy the relevant award criteria. Visits will only be made at appropriate
times and should not affect the normal operation of the business.
General Hygiene Requirements
Healthy eating requires food to be handled, stored, prepared, distributed, labelled and advertised in
accordance with food law requirements. Therefore, only businesses that have demonstrated good
standards of compliance with food laws are eligible to apply for an award.
Compliance with food laws is assessed by Middlesbrough Council’s Public Protection Service,
Environmental Health and Trading Standards Team.
Use of Award Images
Food businesses that have received an award are granted permission to use all award images and may
reproduce them for display at the premises or on any literature or promotional material used by the
business.
Under the provisions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 it is an offence to
falsely claim that the business or any product of the business has received an award or has been given
approval or permission to use any of the award images when such approval or permission has not been
given.
The awards and any promotional materials provided as part of the award scheme remain the property of
Middlesbrough Council.
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