Infant and Junior school meal providers, whether in house or external caterers have been supported over the last decade by a variety of effective schemes helping them to deliver healthier and more nutritious lunchtime meals.
So now what about our secondary schools?
Time for lunch
From Year 7 onwards we see a drastic change in the time allowed for food consumption and the way in which children actually consume their food. This is not a new trend but it should not be a continuing one.
Half an hour of break between lessons. Nowhere to sit down. Lunch queues too long. Pushed out of the queue. No time to socialise. Eating a packed lunch standing up. Dropping half the sandwich on the playground.
These are daily challenges for our secondary school children.
Of course the content of the food itself must be carefully considered. Even so, we urgently need to allow our kids the time to slow down, sit down, digest, contemplate and appreciate the food they are consuming.
The educational and social challenges that children face at secondary school are enough. Could we be bold enough to strive for a lunch hour or even more than an hour that allows really good food, meaning every meal is nutritious, served to the children as it would be at the family table.
This has happened in the past. Why should it not happen again?
Hope for the future?
Lincolnshire County Council have laid the groundwork through a really successful Holiday Food and Activities (HAF) program in school holidays that has led to Lincolnshire being chosen as part of a pilot looking at the standards of school food.
This is exciting news for Lincolnshire, and a massive credit to the Lincolnshire County Council food team!
The Food Standards Agency will be working with the Department For Education to establish new standards for School Food. These standards will eventually be rolled out across the country.
We are hopeful that this is an opportunity to implement real change in the school lunch break.
If you have any questions about school food or experiences you would like to share please get in contact with email@example.com
This article is published in May edition of the Lincoln Independent
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