THE days of chips and chicken nuggets will be thing of the past at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, following the introduction of a healthier menu at the Children's Ward.

Youngsters can now choose from a range of healthy options – such as grilled chicken breast in gravy, breaded baked fish and a selection of salads and baked potatoes.

The bespoke menu is the result of a project involving NHS Forth Valley dietitians and a range of other staff who worked together with service users at the hospital.

Focus groups were held for children and their parents or carers to test out the recipes before they were introduced.

As well as being huge fun, the feedback from both children and adults was extremely positive.

Anne Davidson, catering manager at the hospital, said: “I think parents are much more aware themselves of the importance of a well-balanced diet and surprisingly, food such as chicken nuggets was never really the first choice for kids.

"This menu is designed to encourage healthier eating when these children are older and we also welcome feedback from patients and families.”

The revised menu meets the nutritional needs of all children aged 1-16, including those deemed "nutritionally vulnerable".

A separate list of higher energy foods is also available for children who require them, for example those with malabsorption.