21st April 2010

Miss Scotland adds sparkle to school dinner time

Pupils at a Perthshire school found their school dinners had some extra sparkle today (Wednesday 21st April) when Katharine Brown, Miss Scotland, served them lunch.

Just a week after she wowed the international media in a stunning tartan dress during Scotland Week in New York, Katharine was happy to don a dinner lady uniform at Blackford Primary School.

She joined school cook, Barbara Nicolson, to serve Scotch Beef steak pie, vegetables and potatoes to star-struck pupils at the school on their first day back from the Easter break.

Katharine, who also holds the title of Miss UK, captivated legendary Scots, including Sir Sean Connery, during her visit to the USA but was clearly equally at home chatting with pupils at Blackford Primary, where her Mum, Marlyn, is head teacher.

The visit launched a new Quality Meat Scotland poster featuring Katharine which reminds pupils of the importance a healthy diet and the role red meat plays in achieving that.

The poster is set to be delivered to hundreds of schools across Scotland over the coming weeks during which Katharine plans to make some more school visits working with Quality Meat Scotland.

Quality Meat Scotland’s health and education team first became interested in working with Katharine when they noticed she was blogging about enjoying eating and cooking beef, lamb and pork during Miss World in South Africa.

"Katharine has boundless energy and is a great healthy living ambassador for young people so we were delighted she agreed to work with us on this project,” said Carol McLaren, Head of Communications with Quality Meat Scotland.

“As a tennis coach she also has a good understanding of the importance of nutrition in a healthy lifestyle and she’s very enthusiastic about the role red meat plays as a provider of energy and protein, iron and B-vitamins.”

Quality Meat Scotland has recently completed a project, jointly funded by Scottish Enterprise, to develop healthier versions of traditional Scots favourites including Scotch pies, sausages and bacon.  The organisation also works with public sector buyers to highlight the importance of QMS Assured supplies and to track products back to farms of origin – highlighting the benefits of their sourcing policies to the Scottish economy.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: "This is a great way of educating young people about the benefits of enjoying red meat as part of a healthy and balanced diet. It also builds on the recent success of the QMS project to develop healthier versions of school lunchtime favourites such as sausages and burgers.

"Everyone involved deserves a gold star for this latest initiative, and I hope it will encourage even more pupils to eat fresh, seasonal produce. Menus featuring red meat dishes have traditionally played an important role in attracting children to take school dinners and this campaign – combined with Miss Scotland’s active involvement – will add fun to school canteens.”

Katharine has farming roots in Perthshire and she returned to a farm near Dunkeld where her family spent time during her childhood for the photography used on the poster set to be displayed in school canteens throughout Scotland.

The poster shows Katharine relaxing during a walk on a hill at Rotmell farm where the Brewster family run cattle and sheep.

“As Miss Scotland I have fantastic opportunities to travel and meet lots of really interesting people which is amazing but life can also be a very hectic so I make a point of ensuring I have the energy to make the most of the experience.  I keep fit and eat well – and red meat has always been a part of that for me,” Katharine said.

Katharine’s Mum, Marlyn McAloon, was delighted to welcome Katharine to the school where she has worked for 32 years. Clearly very proud of her high-flying daughter’s achievements, she said staff and pupils were “thrilled to bits” with her visit.

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