School meals shake up

Poor quality processed foods could soon be banned from school
dinner menus.

Education secretary Ruth Kelly said hamburgers, sausages and
cakes will only be allowed if they meet new standards for fat,
sugar and salt content.

New, strict standards for school food are to be introduced in
September 2006, but government wants schools to make changes
immediately. They will “strongly consider” bringing in
nutrient-based standards for school meals, said a spokesperson.
Government has been heavily criticised by child health experts for
failing to do this so far .

The new standards will cover all food provided by schools, not
just lunches. A resource pack for schools on helping children to
eat more healthy food is to be launched soon, with ideas such as
healthy vending machines and cookery classes.

Kelly said, “We have already set down minimum standards for
school dinners, but they are just that – a minimum. We are now
working to raise the bar and support schools and parents to improve
school meals ahead of the introduction of comprehensive, tougher
standards next year”.

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