Schools secretary Ed Balls today launched a campaign that hopes to address plummeting school meals uptake in England.
The Million Meals campaign is led by the School Food Trust (SFT) with support from the Food Standards Agency, teaching unions and the Local Government Association.
The SFT will be asking all head teachers to sign up to the initiative, which hopes to boost the number of school meals consumed by a million a day.
The principles of the campaign are respecting pupils as customers; giving them time and space to eat; teaching them why good food matters and promoting school food to parents.
Balls said: "We now have some of the most stringent school food regulations anywhere in the world and parents can be confident that if their child has school dinners they will be eating healthy balanced meals.
We need everybody from heads to parents to play their part and that is why I am supporting the campaign."
The campaign is launched against the backdrop of falling meal uptake in England, especially at secondary level where teenagers have been voting with their feet following restrictions on junk food and confection in schools introduced in 2006.
Most recently a report from education standards watchdog Ofsted showed meal uptake had fallen at three-quarters of the schools it had inspected since the start of the legislation.
By Chris Druce
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