The idea that a meat pie is considered an unhealthy food has been a topic of contention. Meat pies have been a traditional part of meals and available in school canteens for decades. Furthermore, certain food manufacturers have taken nutrition into account in their quest to develop healthier meat pie products.
Meat Pies in School Canteens
As the name suggests, the key ingredients that constitute a meat pie are meat in a gravy sauce and pastry. How do these ingredients check out nutritionally? Meat contains protein and iron, and pastry carbohydrates and fats. For younger people, it is important to get good sources of protein, iron and carbohydrates as part of a normal food intake. As for fat intake, healthier sources include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. We need to be mindful that fat does play an important role in growing younger people as it provides essential energy. It is important to encourage younger people to eat a wide variety and balance of foods from the five food groups daily.
School canteens have undergone a nutrition transformation and now have guidelines in place to categorise foods under a traffic light or everyday/occasional foods system. This has encouraged food manufacturers to reformulate popular canteen foods like meat pies. Mrs Macs has a range of meat pies with a four-star rating with lower fat and salt content.
The final verdict – meat pies can be part of a healthy balanced intake and like all canteen foods can be consumed occasionally.
For more information on school canteen food guidelines watch our ‘Nutrition in School Canteens’ webinar or talk to us at Church Resources about our wide range of high-quality foodservice solutions such as dairy and bread for your school. As a member, take advantage of our aggregated purchasing power and free benchmarking service to ensure your school is maximising foodservice savings and efficiencies.
Blog written by Dr Karen Abbey – Procurement Australasia Foodservice Ambassador