‘Millions of school children are now eating healthier lunches’

10/07/2009 - 00:00
Despite the increase in the number of children taking school meals being marginal, it is still a significant step forward for all those involved in school meal catering.

Schools Minister, Diana Johnson said: "Four years ago, the majority of children were eating unhealthy meals at school. Chips, chocolate and sugar-filled fizzy drinks were available everyday as a choice for school lunch. Today there is no school where this can now happen - all schools must provide a portion of vegetable and fruit as part of a nutritionally balanced main meal. Now millions of children across the country are eating healthy school lunches. "We have introduced a new way of collecting these figures because we want a more robust and comprehensive way of measuring the healthy eating of children at school. With this new data we can pinpoint areas where take-up is low and work with most LAs to help them get more children eating healthy school lunches. "We know that it is often the state of dining facilities and poor organisation, not nutritional changes that put children off schools dinners. That is why we have invested significant funds in improving dining facilities and the School Food Trust is supporting schools to improve the way they organise their meals services. "Many schools have provided great examples of how to entice children into the canteen. By refurbishing kitchens, making dining areas more inviting and even starting cooking clubs, where children can learn how to prepare healthy and delicious food, primary and secondary schools have seen an increase in pupils eating school lunches."

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