School cooks are hiding carrots in pizzas in a stealth bid to tackle obesity.
According to Tayside Contracts, making sure children eat school dinners could be the solution to childhood health issues.
Nearly one in five primary one schoolchildren in Dundee are classed as either overweight or obese.
Ibukun Strachan, facilities business improvement manager for Tayside Contracts — which provides school meals to city youngsters — called on parents to send their children to the dinner hall instead of the shops.
She said: “The percentages are shocking. What we see is that children who make the wrong nutritional choices at a young age tend to continue to make those wrong choices when they move on to secondary school.
“You see them going to secondary schools and they are down at the shops in a big group eating bags of donuts and sweets, sharing a bottle of juice.”
Ms Strachan said Tayside Contracts ensures meals served in schools are nutritionally balanced and low on sugar.
She added: “All of our meals comply with national nutritional guideline requirements for food and drinks.
“Kids get a variety of options, which involve a daily choice between three hot meals and a sandwich option.
“We have full-time nutritionists whose job it is to ensure the meals we are offering are healthy.
“We often hide healthy foods in the meals. For example, our pizza bases are made with carrots included.”
Ms Strachan said that all the firm’s menus are available online and she recommended that parents take a look.