School dinner and catering managers have been to a special vegetarian cookery school to expand the meals on offer for children.

The Bolton Council managers attended the one-day course in Altincham at the Vegetarian Society Cookery School in order to better learn how to create new vegetarian and vegan options for the borough’s school children.

The new dishes will be tested by pupils at the start of the school year before being rolled out across the borough.

Bolton Council executive cabinet member for environmental services Cllr Nadim Muslim said: “These meals will be exciting and tasty additions to the school menus.

“Plant-based meals are becoming increasingly popular so we’re responding by giving more choice to parents and pupils, who are looking for an alternative, while keeping a full menu of meat options.

“Having a more balanced menu will enable children to have an increasingly healthy choice of food, while providing educational opportunities to learn more about sustainability, ethical farming, fair trade, protecting the environment and climate change”.

The course was run by expert tutors who have taught catering managers from all over the country.

Bolton Council says that vegan and vegetarian foods are rich in nutrients and can help reduce risks of cancer and other diseases.