Tips on making the food and drink you serve healthier

Food Standards Scotland has published a series of short new guides for businesses, to support with sourcing, preparing, promoting and serving healthier options for customers as part of the industry’s reopening and recovery from COVID-19.  

The guides provide advice on general healthier catering and children’s menus, as well as sector-specific tips for Chinese restaurants and takeaways, chip shops, Indian restaurants and takeaways, Italian restaurants, pizza shops, and sandwich shops.

Many customers are looking for healthier choices. In our consultation on improvements to food eaten out of home, 79% of respondents were supportive of reducing excessive calorie contents by changing recipes. A further 73% were in favour of reducing portion size, and 95% thought that consumers should be able to access small or half portions.

The current pandemic has made many of us think more about our health and wellbeing, and what steps we can take to improve it. The guides may help businesses save money too; for example, reducing portion sizes can cut down on waste as well as calories.

 Food Standards Scotland’s Head of Nutrition, Dr Gillian Purdon, said:

 These sector-specific guides are a good foundation to support food and drink businesses to make small, simple changes to the food they provide which will in turn help customers make healthier choices.

“We would urge businesses to adopt as many of these tips as possible as when made on scale, these can add up to make a big difference.

“Eating too many calories can lead to weight gain, which in turn increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Even small reductions at each meal can contribute towards a positive change.

“Supporting people living in Scotland to be healthier is both good for business and good for the health of the nation.”