Somerset schools are to become the first in the country to keep parents up-to-date with their children’s school dinners via social-networking site Twitter.

Parents across the county will be able to subscribe to the ‘tweet what they eat’ Twitter service and receive a daily ‘school menu’ update listing what their child will be eating for lunch.

The Twitter trial is being carried out by the county council’s Somerset County Services (SCS) team, which provides school lunches to 88 schools across the region, in conjunction with the School Food Trust.

Chris Wainwright from the School Food Trust said: “Parents have told us that they want more information about what their children are eating. Sometimes the message doesn’t get home, and it can be difficult to get children to talk about what they had for lunch.

“With this trial, parents will be able to ask what children thought about the food on offer, and which lunch option they chose. It gives parents the information they need to start discussions about healthy food.”

“We would also encourage parents who don’t currently choose school meals for their children to sign up, look at a few sample menus, so they can see what they’re missing and make a really informed choice,” he added.

Somerset County Council is the first local authority to use Twitter to publish its school menu. Parents who would like to subscribe to the daily menu tweets will need to sign up for a free Twitter account (if they don’t have one already) and start following

The trial is part of a raft of initiatives from marketing support to improving kitchen efficiencies that the Trust is piloting to support Local Authorities in increasing take up of school meals. Results of the trial will be made available online.

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By Janie Stamford

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