The School Food Trust is urging schools to use their Christmas menus to help tempt more pupils into the canteen in 2011.
As school cooks across the country are preparing to serve up an estimated three million Christmas dinners before the end of term, some local authorities have reported higher than average take-up of school meals in December.
Chairman Rob Rees said: "For some children, Christmas dinner might be first time this term that they've even been in the school dining room - we want them to love what they see and taste, so that they come back to school meals in the New Year.
"Of all the food themes that schools use to promote their healthy menus, Christmas is always a winner, given the British passion for a tasty roast dinner and warming festive flavours."
School kitchens could get through more than 60,000 turkey breast roasting joints, 4.4 million roast potatoes and 150,000 litres of gravy as they offer healthy turkey lunches to children before the end of term.
If all of England's schools were to hold their Christmas lunches for pupils on the same day, cooks would be dishing up more than 66,000 roasts a minute during the lunch break.
By Janie Stamford
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