Why Choose a School Lunch?

There is mounting evidence in support of school meals, as they are more nutritionally complete than a packed lunch and provide just the right amount of energy for children.

Children having a school lunch are:

  • Encouraged to eat and enjoy a wider variety of foods.
  • More likely to eat fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Less likely to drink sweet drinks and have water instead.
  • Able to develop their social skills, sitting at the lunch table chatting with friends and eating with cutlery.
  • Served balanced meals that are more likely to reach the guideline amounts of vitamins and minerals.
  • Able to enjoy food which has been freshly prepared, unlike a packed lunch which may have been sitting in their school bag for up to 5 hours.

School Dinners vs. Packed Lunches 

We’ve listened to parents and heard some reasons why they prefer for their child to have a packed lunch instead of a school dinner.  Here are some of the reasons and our responses:

Parents' comments

We say…

‘School meals are too expensive’

A school meal is cheaper than a Costa Coffee! 

Plus children in Key Stage 1 are entitled to a free school meal.

‘School meals are not healthy’

Today’s school meals have to meet strict guidelines on salt, fat and sugar.  Every school meal is nutritionally balanced and meets the exact energy requirements that you child needs to thrive and flourish.

‘There’s not enough choice’

In most schools there are three main choices and three dessert options each day. 

‘My child is a fussy eater’

Children are more likely to eat a wider range of foods, when they have school dinners.

‘My child has allergies/ medical conditions’ 

Speak to our Dietitian, Patricia, who works closely with families on an individual basis to risk assess and implement safe provision of non-allergen foods for your child. 


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