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Q. How do you make your meals nutritious?

A. Our nutritionist Julia Hayes works with our schools to develop nutritious menus, which are balanced but full of flavour.

Q. Do you have a policy for nutrition and food?

A. Yes we do please click the link to see our policy for healthy eating in schools. Nutrition policy

Q. How do you manage allergens?

A. We have a detailed allergen practice which is trained into all our people and checks are made daily. We also clearly display allergens on our menus.

Q. Do your staff have checks?

A. Yes all of our staff in schools have enhanced DBS and these are given to the school prior to them starting or working in the school.

Q. Who can I speak to if I have any concerns or questions?

A. Please feel free to email us cognita@thomasfranks.co.uk or speak to your Catering Manager or Operations Manager who are always happy to help.

Latest News

Health & Nutrition

Healthy eating habits are a happy by-product of great tasting food. The quality of the fresh produce, the taste of the food, and its presentation all contribute to our overall food satisfaction.

Healthy, nutritious menu choices are an important part of our offering to all of our customers and particularly vital for pupils because of the effect nutrition has on their well-being. Eating a balanced diet throughout the school day not only ensures pupilsʼ optimum growth and development, it also provides for their academic and physical activity, energy levels and nutrient requirements.

Our commitment to healthy choices is outlined below in a scheme designed by our company nutritionist, Julia Hayes, to encourage both healthy eating and sustained concentration levels. Julia is able to deliver presentations and hold workshops on all aspects of nutrition and healthy eating to support you and help your people benefit from what we offer. click here to see our Nutrition_policy

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October blog

Why is iron important?

Iron is needed for the production of haemoglobin, which is the protein found in red blood cells, and is vital for carrying oxygen around the body. Iron is also important for keeping our immune system healthy and converting food into energy.

Which foods are good sources of iron?

Red meat and oily fish are good sources of haem iron which is the form of iron which is most readily absorbed by the body.

Iron is also found in bread, fortified cereals, pulses, dried fruit and green leafy vegetables but these plant sources contain non-haem iron which is less well absorbed. Eating foods containing vitamin C, however, can help the body to absorb non-haem iron and so including foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes and peppers in meals will help iron absorption.

Low levels

If the level of iron becomes low, fewer red blood cells will be produced and so less oxygen will be able to travel around the body to the cells that need it. This can lead to tiredness and a lack of concentration. It is very common for young children and teenage girls to have low iron levels. In the most recent National Dietary and Nutrition Survey in 2014, 46% of teenage girls in the UK, aged between 11-18 years old, had very low intakes of iron (1). If the intake of iron remains low for some time, there is an increased risk of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA), which is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world (2). IDA results in lethargy, extreme tiredness, pale skin, headaches, shortness of breath and palpitations.

In addition to toddlers and teenage girls, vegetarians and vegans are vulnerable to low iron levels and so a well-planned diet that includes plenty of iron-rich plant foods (as well as foods containing vitamin C) is important to avoid deficiency.

Nutritious recipes 

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Cognita Development Chef

Belinda trained with Johnson & Wales University Florida via the University of Technology Jamaica. Then at University of West London FDA International Culinary Arts.

Belinda also spent a year working with London Borough of Hillingdon helping to roll out their School Food Revolution programme and running a community cookery school funded by the gov teaching local families how to cook and eat well on a low income. Belinda joined the TF family in 2012 and have been developing healthier menus and recipes and helping children to make healthy food choices since.

“I like baking at home as I like try new ways of making favourites a bit healthier and just as tasty. Ie. sweet potato brownies etc. I also like cooking foods from far flung places. Those recipes tend to use unique spices and lots of veg for extra flavour. Instead of the traditional restaurant foods that tend to be heavy with butter or cream.”