HOW to encourage pupils to use the dining facilities has been a challenge for many school across the country.

Eastbank Academy in Shettleston had a bigger problem than most, with the lowest uptake in Glasgow. They also faced the comptetion from many fast food outlets in the nearby streets luring children out the school gates.

The initiative to create a cafe-gallery has transformed the school dinner experience to a space where the pupils can enjoy the surroundings. By displaying their own artwork the young people can have a personal connection with the area as well.

The improvement in school dinner uptake from 13% of pupils to 43% is something to be celebrated and congratulated. The challenge now is to keep them coming back for more.

Ensuring the food on offer is healthy, attractive and competitively priced is essential to build on the positive trend.

It seems to be obvious, however, that by involving the pupils in the changes to the dining hall they are more likely to use it.

Hopefully other schools can follow the example of Eastbank Academy and we can take steps to improve our children's eating habits by keeping them away from the burger vans and takeaway lunches and get more eating healthy food.