School Food Provisions
Throughout the day, children eat breakfast, snacks and lunch, all of which may be provided by the school setting. It is therefore really important that all of these provisions meet the required School Food Standards - regardless of who is responsible for these provisions. It also means that the school setting can play a very important role is helping children to understand and make healthier choices.
Creating an ethos and environment which actively promotes healthy choices, where staff and children all come together through a positive food culture, can be very powerful. School is also the ideal setting for reaching out to parents, families and the wider community.
We are very passionate about all aspects of school food; your school's designated Delivery Advisor can help signpost you to resources and give advice about how to promote a positive food culture. Please also feel free to explore our free training options available - a Lunchtime Supervisors' Workshop and Promoting Positive Food Culture (new for September 2017!). Both of these courses explore food, school meals, some of the challenges we can face in school and approaches to overcome them.
We are actively working together with school meal providers, independent school cooks and other colleagues to improve the uptake of school meals. We think it is really important to work together with colleagues and organisations who are also at the forefront of school meals, to ensure that we are all collaborating to reach our common goal; raising the quality and profile of school food.
School Meals Entitlement
Every child up to the age of 7 is now entitled to a free school meal every day; this encompasses the whole of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 under the Universal Infant Free School Meals initiative. We think this is fantastic, as all the children in this age category can access a nutritious meal every day, regardless of income in the family home.
For some children, school lunch is the only hot meal they will have that day, so it is especially important to support schools in promoting an attractive, nutritious lunch. Helping schools to promote this, as well as developing healthy food policies is something we are really passionate about.
Universal Infant Free School Meals
Since September 2014 all children in reception, year 1 and year 2 at state-funded schools in England receive free school meals. The government made this decision after a recommendation in the School Food Plan.
How to apply for Free School Meals in Cornwall
Many families are eligible to apply for free school meals, a process that takes into account household income. The local Council has published some useful information and an on-line application form here. It is important to remember that if your child is is Reception, Year 1 or 2 and would be entitled to a free school meal, regardless of the Universal Infant Free School Meals programme, you should still register using the council form. This is because your child will be eligible to access Pupil Premium funding, which can be used by school to help enrich your child's learning and school experience. If you do not register your child, this funding will not be made available to his or her school which ultimately will benefit learning.
Healthier lunchboxes are an important part of your Healthy Schools work and can contribute to wider work to help reduce childhood obesity. Our Lunchtime Supervisors Workshop covers identifying healthy packed lunches - pop over to our training page for more information.
Healthy Lunchbox Leaflet
You can download a copy of our popular lunchbox leaflet and send copies out to your children in school to encourage them to explore healthy lunchbox choices.
We have also got together with healthylunch.org.uk to allow schools to subscribe to this terrific website at low cost. It provides access to an amazing range of tools and ideas for activities and teaching, including the option to produce customised healthier lunchbox leaflets for parents and carers which can be translated for you into fourteen languages.
Get your code now!
Children's Food Trust packed lunch policy
In collaboration with Healthy Schools and the Food Standards Agency, the Children's Food Trust has developed a step-by-step guide for schools about developing a healthy packed lunch policy. By providing information and links to specific resources, tips and tools, the CFT hopes to help schools to use a consistent approach to healthy school lunches, both school- and home-provided. By using this toolkit schools can help ensure that parents and pupils have access to the knowledge and skills to select a healthy packed lunch.
Whether you’re giving your child a packed lunch every day, or are just doing it now and then between school dinners, keeping them varied and coming up with new lunchbox ideas can be tricky. The key to a healthy lunchbox for kids is one that is balanced and provides all essential nutrients. Once you know which types of foods should be included, you can get creative - Loveable Lunchboxes gives you some ideas about what a healthy lunchbox could entail.
The number of schools who have a breakfast club is on the increase; it is a great way to ensure that pupils are accessing a healthy, nutritious breakfast and are ready to start the school day on a full stomach. We all know that children can concentrate the best when they have eaten good, healthy food, so what better way to start the day?
We think it's brilliant that the national School Food Standards that came into place in January 2015 also includes breakfast provided by school breakfast clubs. We know that schools will be offering the best possible start to their children's day, ensuring readiness for learning, improved concentration and ultimately better achievements.
If your school's percentage of pupil premium children is above 35%, you could be eligible to receive funding from Magic Breakfast, a charity set up to help feed more of our children every morning. Visit the Magic Breakfast website for more details.
Kellogg's Breakfast Club
Kellogg’s has spent the last decade setting up more than 1,000 breakfast clubs which serve more than two million breakfasts each year to the children who need them most. To find out more go to the Kellogg's website.
Children's Food Trust
The Children's Food Trust have lots of information and support for breakfast clubs, and have conducted some really useful research to demonstrate the importance of eating breakfast. Click here for more information.