Contact Information

 0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council,
Allerdale House,
CA14 3YJ


Menu checklist advice

Supporting healthier choices

  • Try highlighting the healthier alternatives alongside other items in the menu, rather than putting them in a special section.
  • No supersized portions as this increases the calories and encourages people to eat more
  • Have healthier promotions and meal deals on offer. For example offering healthy items at low prices with popular dishes, e.g. fruit. For desserts you could have seasonal specials on fruit desserts.

Bread Cereal and Potatoes

  • Chips and wedges should be served thick cut and cooked in suitable oil (see section 6). Let customers add their own salt. Oven chips are a healthier option
  • Roast potatoes should be cut into large pieces and cooked using unsaturated oil. Drain well after cooking
  • If you fry get the oil to at least 175°C so the chips will absorb less fat
  • Serve jacket or boiled potatoes without being cooked or served in high fat butter and oil. Ask if the customer wants butter/salt/ dressings before serving and have low fat versions available.
  • Have alternatives to white pasta, white rice and fried rice available such as wholegrain alternatives, tri-colour pasta and boiled/steamed rice. Pasta dishes should be available with vegetable based sauces
  • Try using wholegrain, wholemeal and malted wholegrain bread as standard unless customers ask for white. Choose a bread that has less than 1.13g salt per 100g or less than 0.45g Sodium per 100g

Fruit and Vegetables

  • Always include at least one portion of fruit and/or vegetables as part of a meal
  • Add or increase the amount of vegetables, lentils or beans in dishes like soup, stews and rice. They are cheaper than meat and will save you money
  • Salads and vegetables should be served with dressings and sauces on the side. Lower fat options should be available wherever possible.
  • Fruit should be displayed in a prominent accessible point to encourage customers to purchase them.

Meat, Fish and Protein Alternatives

  • Have lean unprocessed meat/ chicken available that is not fried or has fat added. If using mince use a leaner type as this is lower in saturated fat. Once the meat has browned drain off the excess fat
  • Trim off any excess fat on meats before cooking and with chicken, turkey and duck always remove the skin
  • If possible, have oily fish available, such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines as these contain oils that are beneficial to health and contain very little fat. Replace battered fish with breaded fish which can be grilled or baked.
  • Promote vegetarian options which contain beans, pulses, quorn or tofu as a lower fat alternative to meat and fish. At least one low fat, non fried vegetarian option should be available e.g. casseroles

Milk, Cheese and Yogurt

  • Semi skimmed milk should be offered and used as an alternative to full fat milk when cooking. Other options include soya, rice or oat milk
  • Reduced fat yogurts, fromage frais or lower fat custard should be available as an alternative to cream
  • Use lower fat cheeses such as edam, mozzarella and cottage cheese or ‘low fat’ varieties. Use strong flavoured cheese to flavour foods as you will use less and keep the fat content down.  

Fats and Oils

  • Lower fat/ unsaturated spreads used as an alter-native to butter or margarine for baking and at point of sale e.g. Olive and sunflower spreads
  • Swap to reduced fat mayonnaise or reduced fat salad cream
  • The more saturated fat in oil the more will be transferred to foods. Liquid oils such as sunflower and rapeseed have about 10% saturated fat. Solid oils have about 50%
  • Wherever possible grill, bake or steam foods and avoid frying.


  • Salt should be controlled and reduced in all recipes and should be offered at point of sale instead
  • Use alternative seasonings where possible i.e. pepper, garlic, herbs and spices to provide a range of interesting flavours
  • Use salt shakers and dispensers with fewer holes
  • Read labels and choose low salt alternatives


  • Offer unsweetened pure fruit juices and lower calorie drinks, semi skimmed milk, herbal teas, etc.
  • Use semi-skimmed milk as standard for hot drinks but have full fat available on request
  • Tap water should be readily available at no extra charge  


  • At least one low sugar dessert should be available (if you sell desserts)
  • Use more fresh or dried fruits in cakes for natural sweetness which will reduce the need for sugar
  • When using fruit from tins use fruit in own juice rather than syrup.

Children’s Meals

  • Do not use reformed or reconstructed products e.g. some hams and chick-en nuggets
  • Ensure fruits and vegetables are served with all meals.
  • Make smaller portions of healthier choices available.
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Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ