Eden Foodservice has won a £40m deal to provide school meals in Bristol for the next eight years.
Bristol City Council selected the caterer, part of Rentokil Initial, in part, after it met the Government's nutritional guidelines for school meals a year ahead of the deadline.
From 31 October, Eden will cater for 126 schools in the area including primary, secondary and nursery schools.
The contract, worth £5m in annual turnover, was previously run in-house by the council.
Eden has promised more fresh, traditional and ethnic main meals will be on the menu as a result of the change, with freshly baked bread each day.
As well as targeting pupils with healthy lifestyle marketing on site the caterer will be producing a parents' newsletter as well as cook-at-home recipes.
Liz Fox, senior health promotion specialist at Bristol's Primary Care Trust, said: "In terms of public health, improving children's diets is key to their present and future health and to hear the new nutritional guidelines have been met a year ahead of schedule is extremely promising."
Primary meals will be priced at £1.95 each.
Early this month the Liberal Democrats said the future of the school meals system looked bleak against the backdrop of plummeting meal uptake.
By Chris Druce
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