The Scottish Executive has unveiled details of its £5m plan to give thousands of children free school meals.
Under the scheme, first announced in February, pupils in years primary one to three in five areas across the country will have access to nutritious meals in a six-month trial from October to March.
Borders, East Ayrshire, Fife, Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire were chosen in a bid to target some of Scotland's most vulnerable children, as part of the Executive's Hungry for Success programme.
Maureen Watt, the schools and skills minister, said: "The pilots will show us the impact universal free school meals have on children's health as we shape our policy on improving nutrition, as well as how schools cope with implementing them."
Ministers will study the pilots for evidence on the health benefits for pupils, eating habits in school and home, pupil views on school meals, and practical issues for schools such as kitchen and dining-hall facilities and the development of social skills.
By Daniel Thomas
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