Custard to return to Aberdeenshire school menus after student petition

Schools in Aberdeenshire will reinstate custard on their menus after pupils launched a petition against the decision to remove the beloved pudding.

The local council said in April that primary school menus had been “refreshed” to meet new nutritional requirements set by the Scottish government, and alternative desserts were being provided instead.

But two students, 10-year-old Angus Beverly and 11-year-old William Dibb, successfully petitioned to bring back their favourite pudding.

In a letter to Aberdeenshire Council, which was signed by every pupil and staff member in Rhynie Primary school, Beverly and Dibb wrote: “The puddings we love, cooked by [Heather] Moir, are the best in the world and we don’t want to lose them.

“They are part of a balanced diet for us and we know that Mrs Moir reduces the sugar content as much as possible.

“We ask kindly that you revert back to having puddings as part of our choice for dinner.”

According to the BBC, the Aberdeenshire education committee agreed during a meeting that the issue would be subject to a report later in the year, and will form part of a planned review into school meals.

But while the report was ongoing, children would have custard back on the menu when they return to schools from the autumn break.

New nutritional guidelines published by the Scottish government in February aimed to limit sugar intake among school pupils and encourage the consumption of more fruit and vegetables.

The government recommended that desserts served for school dinners contain no more than 15g of sugar per portion, and should be served no more than three days a week.

John Swinney, deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for education said in the ministerial foreword of the guidance: “Schools have a pivotal role in supporting healthier dietary choices from an early age.

“The food and drink options they provide and the eating and drinking habits they instil can also serve as an example for positive dietary choices for wider society.”

The council said in a statement at the time: “Whilst desserts such as ice cream and custard have been removed, alternatives like brownies, muffins, gingerbread and cookies are now available.

“However, our focus is currently on healthy eating as well as using the very best produce available in Aberdeenshire and Scotland to provide pupils with nutritious and delicious meals at affordable prices.”