Hampshire county council have shared with us the benefits of school lunches,
If you are a parent of a Key Stage 1 child at infant or primary school, we would like to think that you already know the benefits of your child receiving a free school lunch as part of the Government’s universal infant free school meal initiative.
Key stage 2 children receive all the same benefits of a school lunch for only £2.15, so when you think that for less than an average priced coffee, your child could eat a freshly cooked, two course, nutritionally balanced school lunch, it makes perfect sense.
Not only do they enjoy a wide variety of tasty flavours, but your child also has daily access to freshly baked bread and a wide selection of salads in addition to the menu options available that day.
At HC3S, menu development and research is a crucial factor for the success of the service. Menus are created to include child-friendly favourites such as MSC responsibly-sourced fish and chips, traditional roast dinners and children’s firm favourite, pizza. On top of this they devise tangy curries, sweet chilli turkey and innovative meals such as their award-winning bubble salmon. New menu tasting sessions encourage children to try new dishes with flavours that might not have already tempted their taste palette. Children are asked for feedback, giving immediate reactions as they choose emoji happy and sad faces to tell us whether the meal is a hit or a miss! Focus groups are also used as an important tool to look for trends and tastes, and what children would like to see.
Each day on the education Facebook page they post the next day’s menu including photos of both the meat and meat free options. By sharing this with your child, their friends and other parents at the school gate, you can help your child gain independence by helping them choose their meal.
The new Spring/Summer menu is launched after the Easter break in April. Following the success of the 2017 daily sandwich style picnic option, this will be available to primary school pupils again. With fruit, vegetable sticks, a water cuplet (similar to a sealed cup on an airline tray) and dessert of the day, the picnic lunches are an additional option to the hot lunches, ideal for families where your child enjoys something cooler in warmer weather or if you prefer to eat a hot meal together as a family in the evening.
For those parents worried about children with food allergies or intolerances, they tailor special diet menus. For further details about the simple process visit the website for primary special diets.
There is talk that they want to change the eligibility for free school meals, meaning that from April any new families on Universal Credit in England who earn more than £7,400 a year will lose out.
That means almost a million of England’s poorest pupils will miss out on a free hot meal. Why not let them know how you feel about this by signing your details here