Food Blog

School Food Standards: A Free Checklist

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School meals are an essential part of a child’s diet. Children need to be fed healthy, balanced meals five days a week. A healthy and balanced diet is essential for children as it promotes brain development and healthy growth. You also get immunity and strong bones, as well as a multitude of other benefits.

What are the School Food Standards

All maintained schools, new academies and free schools must follow the School Food Plan standards starting in January 2015. The Department of Education launched it under the School Food Regulations 2014. The School Food Plan is a set standard for all school food. It was created to help school cooks create innovative, flexible, nutritious menus.

A minimum of one portion each day of starchy foods and at least one variety of whole grains each week.

A minimum of one or more servings of fruit, veg, or salad daily.

It would help if you consumed a portion of dairy each day. There are lower-fat milk options that can be drunk.

It would help if you ate a portion of meat, fish and eggs daily. Meat or poultry must be consumed at least three times per week. Oily fish should be eaten once every three weeks.

Each week, no more than 2 portions of deep-fried, battered, or bread-crumbed food and no more than 2 portions of pastry.

As snacks, nuts, seeds, veg and fruits with no added salt, sugar or fat.

There is no confectionery or chocolate.

Plain water, low-fat milk, fruit juices, tea, coffee and hot chocolate beverages.

The school’s lunch format can be decided by the governing bodies. However, they must ensure that food and drink comply with school food standards. It would help if you remembered that food is served throughout school hours, including lunch, mid-morning break, and afterschool programs. Also, food purchased from vending machines or tuck shops is included. When creating menus, following the Government Food Buying Standards is important. The school is responsible for creating its menus. You must ensure that your school provides healthy meals and a variety of menus. This is because schools are diverse, and you must cater to different dietary, religious and medical needs, including allergies.


It is important to take into account food allergies and intolerances. Schools and caterers should work closely with parents to support children with allergies, intolerances or medical needs. Schools are required to provide support for pupils with medical conditions under section 100. This includes allergies and intolerances.


In planning school menus, sustainability is an important consideration. While the health and nutrition of children should be the top priority, sustainable food practices like:

Why is it important for schools to provide healthy food?

Schools should provide nutritious food for their pupils. Schools are where children can learn, and that reach extends beyond the classroom. Children can learn a lot about healthy eating habits and their many benefits. Schools can play a vital role in helping children develop healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.

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