This year, big changes are happening to school food. The Department for Education are transforming who gets free meals, what children eat and how they learn about food.

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

Long gone are the days of fatty crisps and salty chips. From September, every pupil in reception, year 1 and 2 will be eligible for free school meals. The improved food standards, designed to make it easier for school cooks to create imaginative, flexible and healthy menus, will provide children with the nutrition they need, at lunch and break times.

Low fat milk will be available every day, along with fresh fruit and veg for healthy snacking. Cooking is also back on the curriculum, so children will understand more about the food they eat and how to prepare it.

Evidence from areas already providing universal free school meals show that children eating more healthily actually perform better in the classroom.

Schools have reported better behaviour and a nicer atmosphere as a result of pupils eating together every day, so it’s great for children’s social skills too.

So what does this mean for parents?

Signing up your child for free school meals takes just five minutes and will mean that not only could you save up to £400 a year (and that’s just on food, not to mention the cost of replacing broken lunchboxes and lost Tupperware lids!) but also ensure your child’s school gets all the funding that they are entitled to.

Your child’s school should have already supplied you with a form, so if you are yet to sign up for free school meals, just contact your school at the start of term to do so.

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