When we develop lunch menus our caterers follow criteria as set out by the school meal regulations including:
- two portions of vegetables and one portion of fruit available with all meals at lunchtime
- no more than three deep fried (including foods fried during the manufacturing process) products can be included in the weekly menu
- chips must be part of a meal
- no salt added to recipes
- only oils high in polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated fats can be used in food preparation
- condiments in no more than 10ml portions
- oily fish must be provided at least once every three weeks
- no confectionary can be included in school lunches
- no genetically modified foods can be included in school lunches
- no food or drinks containing hydrogenated fat can be included in school lunches
We have been producing over 4.8 million school lunches that meet the above standards for many years and over and above these have added and developed some of our own healthy options such as:
- baking instead of frying where possible
- adding vegetables wherever possible by blending
- replacing stodgy desserts with fruit, home baking and yoghurt
- having vegetables, salad and fruit with all our meals
The following list shows the benefit each nutrient has in developing healthy and happy children.
Iron is found in meat, fish, pulses and wholegrains and dark green leafy vegetables. It is important component of haemoglobin which is needed for healthy oxygen carrying red blood cells
Protein is in lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and pulses, cheese, milk and yoghurt. It is important for growth and repair and is an important building block of bones, muscle, skin and cartilage.
Fibre is found in fruit and vegetables, peas, beans and pulses, wholegrains and potatoes with skin on. Fibre aids digestion and bowel health, lowers the risk of heart disease and makes us feel fuller.
Calcium is in milk, yoghurt, cheese, leafy green vegetables, sardines and canned salmon. It is essential for strong bones and teeth.
Vitamin C is in fruit and vegetables. It is a powerful antioxidant, helps the body form and maintain connective tissue including bones, blood vessels and skin. It also helps wound heal and helps the body absorb iron.
Vitamin A is found in fruit and vegetables especially yellow, orange and green ones, oily fish, eggs and cheese. It is a powerful antioxidant and helps the vision in dim light. It also helps heal the body's natural defence and is good for the skin.
Folate is found in leafy green vegetables, chickpeas, beans and lentils. It helps the body to produce healthy blood cells and reduces the risk of spina bifida.
Zinc is found in meat, fish, dairy, cereal products and bread, especially wholegrain. It helps the body make new cells and process carbs, fat and protein in food. It also helps with wound healing.