MORE than 1,500 pupils from three Sheffield schools are being encouraged to tuck into fresh food as part of a new Healthy Lunches Project.
Youngsters from Forge Valley and Newfield secondaries and Bents Green Special School are eating better quality meals benefiting from locally-sourced food.
The scheme is financed by the Big Lottery Fund and is under the control of the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust.
Pupils in the classroom have been looking also at the various barriers that can prevent them from accessing and choosing healthy local food, and how they can overcome such problems.
A group of 50 children have been taking part in cookery classes during which they have been improving their culinary skills and preparing healthy alternatives to traditional packed lunches.
The best recipes are being collected in a book which will be distributed around schools, spreading the message that healthy food can be both delicious and easy to make.
Students have also been out and about visiting centres that are producing food for Sheffield people.
Several trips have been made to the Hazelhurst agriculture project, near Norton, where pupils have harvested seasonal treats, built fires and cooked warming soups.
This year, a group of youngsters will be trained up to be healthy eating champions, developing both their knowledge of nutrition and their leadership skills, then passing on their knowledge to final-year primary pupils.