Healthy school meal revolution improving children's home diet

01 September 2010 by
Healthy school meal revolution improving children's home diet

Healthier meals in schools are encouraging children to be more open about what they eat at home, according to new research for the School Food Trust (SFT).

A survey of 1,000 parents of primary and secondary school children found more than 80% of those with children that ate school meals said their youngsters had tried new foods at school.

This in turn had been beneficial at home, with half (50%) of parents reporting they had been asked to make dishes at home that their children had eaten at school.

Rob Rees, chairman of the SFT, said: "Every parent knows it's a nightmare watching their child push food around the plate. School meals can be a great way to help parents encourage their children to try new foods and to increase the variety of foods in their diet.

"What's more, we are starting to see a shift in children's habits since the introduction of new standards for school food. Our research in primary schools has shown that children eating school meals do have healthier options on their plates than they did five years ago."

The poll also found that carrots, sweet corn and peas remained the most popular vegetables for children, with aubergine, chickpeas and spinach among the least favourite.

The latest school dinners data from the SFT found that in primary schools, the proportion of children eating a school lunch rose from 39.3% in 2008-09 to 41.4% in 2009-10, a 2.1 percentage-point increase. Secondary schools saw a 0.8 percentage-point rise, from 35% in 2008-09 to 35.8% in 2009-10.

SFT hits out at unhealthy food served at visitor attractions >>

Government slashes School Food Trust's budget by £1m >>

Primary school children choose healthier lunches, report claims >>

By Chris Druce

E-mail your comments to Caterer News here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with jobs

[Newsletters For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our e-mail newsletters.
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking