SECONDARY schools in Blackburn with Darwen are all now specially accredited to provide healthy food options.

The Recipe 4 Health awards scheme, run by Blackburn with Darwen Council in partnership with Lancashire County Council, recognises schools, local businesses and nurseries who provide healthier food choices to those they cater for.

A special event was held to celebrate the milestone in the council chamber at Blackburn town hall on Wednesday.

The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Jim Shorrock, was on hand to present awards to the final three high schools to sign up – The Heights, Eden and Tauheedul Boys.

The Recipe 4 Health scheme is part of a public health drive for businesses to contribute to tackling ill-health and the burden of obesity on society.

It also plays a big role in the Healthier Place Healthier Future programme, which is working across Pennine Lancashire communities, including Blackburn with Darwen, taking innovative action to tackle childhood obesity.

Cllr Damian Talbot, executive member for health and wellbeing, said: "The Recipe 4 Health scheme continues to go from strength to strength as one of our key initiatives to promote healthy eating and smart food choices all across the borough."

Councillor Maureen Bateson, executive member for children, young people and education, added: "I’m delighted to see all of our secondary schools sign up to this scheme.

"It’s especially important in schools as enabling access to healthy and nutritious food as part of the school day supports improved learning and achievement.

"It also helps to address child poverty for those who might not have access to nutritious food at home."