Audrey McQuaid (l) and Warris Ahmed (r), both pupils at Dunblane High School, and Maryellen Cullen, catering supervisor at Dunblane High School. Photo: Salmon Scotland

Farmed salmon served up in Stirling school pilot

Farmed Scottish salmon is on the menu at schools in Stirling in an initiative aimed at increasing consumption of the nutritious fish among youngsters.

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In a 12-week pilot, underway in six of the seven secondary schools across the Stirling Council area, locally sourced salmon is a lunch option in canteens once a week.

Information on the major health benefits of eating oily fish is also available and more than 20 simple family-friendly recipes are being taught in home economics classes.

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) will provide an independent scientific evaluation of the project, measuring both take-up of the salmon and receptiveness to the information.


The pilot could pave the way for a national roll-out, in line with the government’s ‘Good Food Nation’ policy which recognises Scottish salmon as a high quality and healthy protein.

Salmon is being offered to the majority of the 6,300 secondary pupils in and around Stirling, served alongside existing options such as macaroni cheese, chicken curry and noodle stir fry.

One secondary school in the Stirling area will not offer salmon, functioning as a control sample for the scheme. The project is being organised and run by Salmon Scotland, in partnership with Stirling Council.

A recent study by the Nutritional Analytical Service found that Scottish salmon has 4.5 times the daily recommendation for special omega-3 fats found in marine foods, and more than half our daily protein needs.

Eating just one serving of oily fish a week, such as a fillet of farm-raised Scottish salmon, provides more than two thirds of the weekly omega-3 recommendation in a single meal, said nutritionist Dr Lucy Williamson.


‘The vitamin D in Scottish salmon is essential for immune function and supports bones, muscles and teeth – all vital for growing youngsters,’ she said.

‘We know there is an obesity crisis in Scotland, and presenting tasty and nutritious options to young people can help improve the health of the next generation.’

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: ‘Scottish farmed salmon is a tasty, nutritious and low-carbon food that is enjoyed at home and abroad. I am delighted that this iconic seafood is being introduced to a new generation and look forward to seeing the results of this initiative.’

Stirling Council head of education Bryony Monaghan added: ‘We’re pleased to be involved in this pilot project led by Salmon Scotland in an effort to provide diverse and nutritious meal options for our school pupils. 

‘A well-balanced meal is known to promote educational development and incorporating locally sourced salmon in our school meals will make a great addition to the menu.’
Salmon Scotland chief executive Tavish Scott said the goal was to introduce more healthy nutritious food in school menus.

‘We look forward to the results of this pilot and hope a national roll-out will follow so that more young people can make informed choices about healthy food to go with heathier lifestyles.’