This page is for those responsible for and involved in the provision of school meals.
There are 8.74 million children in schools across the UK. The nutritional standards and legislation around school meals varies dependent on a child's age and where in the UK their school is (England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland). This is why Nutmeg has different programs which incorporate these different standards related to age and geographical location.
For younger children, their appetite and capacity for food can be small, meaning foods (both meals and snacks included) rich in nutrients are of particular importance at this age. Childhood represents a period in which children's food preferences and behaviours are shaped outside of the home, and therefore an essential time during which children are able to learn healthy eating habits and food preferences. Excess weight is common and a major problem amongst children, highlighting the importance of restricting the energy content of school meals. Childhood obesity increases the chances of ill health later in life; in particular diabetes.
School meals provide an opportunity for every child to receive a hot and nutritious meal during their school day. For some, this may be their main source of vitamin, mineral and high-quality nutrients - demonstrating how important it is that these meals provide adequate nutrition to children.
Cater easily for those who are gluten-free or lactose intolerant, as well as children with specific food allergies
Ensure that children requiring inclusion or exclusion of certain foods still receive a nutritionally balanced menu
Identify dishes which are halal, kosher, vegetarian and vegan to ensure that nutritionally balanced menus are provided for children with cultural dietary requirements
The Nutmeg Looked After Children program includes the value of the average school meal into each weekday, to help achieve the most accurate menu plan
The information displayed on this page has been taken from NICE guidelines and government websites