Children in the county are being offered the chance to design a new school dinner as part of a Sussex Day-inspired competition.
The contest is looking for pupils to create a lunchtime dish with the winning meal being offered in primary schools next year.
It has been launched as part of this year’s Sussex Day festival, happening on June 16, which encourages people to celebrate the county’s heritage.
The competition is being run by the County Council with its catering company Chartwells – which provides hot meals to West Sussex primary schools.
Tracie Taylor, who works for Chartwells, said: “This competition is an excellent way of showing children what goes into healthy balanced meals.
“The dishes must contain all of the food groups from our Eat Well Plate - including protein, carbohydrate, fruit and vegetables as well as milk and dairy.
“The meals can only contain small amounts of fat and sugar and have no fried ingredients.”
There are two categories for school pupils to enter: one for five to seven-year-olds and another for children aged between eight and 11.
They have to design and cook the dish, take a photo and think of a name for it before sending off an entry form.
The winners will have their meals reproduced by professional Chartwells chefs and be offered on the caterer’s lunchtime menu next year.
They will also get a family day out at the Weald and Downland Museum and an iPod shuffle.
Peter Griffiths, County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Schools, said: “This is a great chance for our schools to celebrate Sussex Day and all that is wonderful about our county.
“This competition allows young people to be creative with some of the excellent food from West Sussex and I’m looking forward to seeing the winning dish.”
The closing date for entries is Friday August 26.
To find out more about the competition go to: www.westsussex.gov.uk/sussexday
Alternatively, to download an entry form, visit: www.mealselector.co.uk