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Ninety-nine out of every 100 packed lunches being eaten by primary school children are reported to be unhealthy and failing to meet nutritional standards.
So what should a healthy lunch contain and what foods should be left out?
According to advice from the Food Standards Agency,a healthy packed lunch should include:
• Meat, fish or a dairy source of protein
• Starchy carbohydrate, such as a wholegrain sandwich, to provide energy
• At least one portion each of a fruit and vegetable or salad
• Water or milk to drink, but diluted fruit juice and yoghurt drinks or smoothies are acceptable
The key foods to avoid are:-
• Sweets and chocolate
• Snacks, like crisps, with added salt/sugar/fat
• Sugary and fizzy drinks
• Deep-fried foods and processed meats
• White bread – if children won’t eat brown, try whole white sliced bread
Nutritional standards for school meals were introduced in 2006 and standards for vending machines, breakfast clubs and tuck shops came into force a year later.
In 2008, strict nutrition content guidelines for primary schools were introduced and extended to secondary schools in September 2009.
They include maximum/minimum levels of energy or calories and 13 different nutrients, including fat, salt and sugars.
SUGAR, FAT AND SALT (As per Food Standards Agency)
Sugar: 15g sugar per 100g is high in sugar, 5g or less is low
Fat: 20g fat per 100g is high in fat, 3g or less is low
Salt: 1.5g salt per 100g is high in salt, 0.3g or less is low
The Schools Food Trust – an independent body set up to advise schools on healthy eating – says there are no plans to issue statutory guidance on packed lunches, but it has produced some sample lunchbox menus
You may click to see:–
SAMPLE MENU in a packed standard lunch (526.29 K
Children’s lunchboxes ‘unhealthy’
Pupils are to face lunchbox exams
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Food Standards Agency
School Food Trust
Source: BBC News:12Th. January. 2010
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