A MOTHER has decided to take a leaf out of Jamie Oliver’s book and push for “healthier food” options in schools.

Jessica Michael has launched a campaign in Brighton to encourage serving plant based meals once a week in schools.

According to the 37-year-old vegan mum, children can only be served a plant based lunch in state schools if registered vegan.

She said: “I think the system is very out of date.

“It seems silly that children have to officially be registered as vegans in order to have a plant based option, they aren’t allowed to chose.

“My two children are registered as vegans and often they find the other kids wanting to eat what they are having.

“It would be so much more climate friendly if kinds were able to chose plant based vegan meals freely rather than having to eat the meat and dairy options. Vegetarian options are fast becoming outdated following the massive increase of new research suggesting a plant based diet is something that we all need to be actively working towards for better health, for animal welfare and to address environmental issues.”

Jessica said that for her campaign to work there needs to be food education for children and parents.

She said: “It would be good if there was one day a week where there was an entirely plant based menu that children can look at and chose from.”

Jessica works in nutrition and has seen many school menus.

She said: “I think the menus on offer are old-fashioned and limited.

“Plant based food is more explored now. Our school menus don’t represent that.

“The main course is always a mixture of animal proteins.”

Jessica, who lives in Woodingdean, suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, otherwise known as ME, a neurological illness, when she was 18.

She had no energy and struggled to do basic activities.

Her condition became so debilitating she decided to change her diet entirely.

After some research into nutrition, she gave up eating animal products and turned to a plant based diet.

She recovered and soon after ran the London marathon in just four hours.

She said: “I could not believe the transformation in myself when I switched to a plant-based diet. The energy I have now is incredible. Both my children as well, aged seven and ten, have been brought up vegan and have never had to go to the doctor for illness.”

Food and farming charity the Soil Association (SA) has called for pupils in England to get “healthier and more climate friendly meals”.

Rob Percival, of SA, said; “The update of the school food standards provides an ideal opportunity to make school meals healthier and more climate-friendly.

“We know that children would benefit nutritionally from eating more beans, pulses, and plant-based proteins. The climate would also benefit.

“It’s time the government caught up – the updated school food standards should require that schools serve a plant based protein day each week.”

Jessica is hoping to introduce her plant based lunch campaign in her children’s primary school imminently as a pilot project, in the hope that other schools will follow suit.