School Meals AND PACKED LUNCHES
Temporary changes to school dinners as a result of COVID 19
The catering contractors are bound by guidance and their own risk assessments. As a result of this they will not be able to serve food from the hatch in the conventional manner as they will come into contact with between 350 and 400 children.
The easy option as a school would have been to go down the route that some schools are taking and offer a school packed lunch like we did from June 1st or have the year groups on a rota where year groups alternate weekly between a hot and cold menu.
We want the children to have a hot lunches but have to adapt accordingly.
Children will be in different halls or classrooms and it’s not practical for staff to deliver so many trays to tables. We also run the risk of a long drawn out lunchtime which impacts on curriculum time.
As a result of this:
- The caterers are running a two option menu across the local authority which will either be a meat or vegetarian option. If you have informed us your child is a vegetarian then they will be provided with this option; all other children will be given the meat option unless they have specific dietary needs.
- The children will either be eating in the halls or in their classrooms.
- As a result of the above their food will be delivered to them pre served on a tray or in a container which will include all the contents of the menu. It’s not practical for instance to ‘plate up’ for individuals as one child may not want peas and another may want to have sweetcorn
- We will make separate arrangements for those children with allergies or specific dietary needs.
To view the Autumn Term 2020 menu please click here.
Children MUST have their own named water bottle.
Please also be reminded that if you child has packed lunch they must bring the following type of packed lunch box.
At Earlsfield we promote a healthy lifestyle. This is embedded in the curriculum.
Meals are provided as part of the LEA’s catering contract with Edwards & Ward.
To view the Autumn Term 2020 menu please click here.
Responsibility for money collection rests with the school. This means that any debt is taken from the school budget therefore if we find that money is owed for longer than one week we will ask you to provide a packed lunch for your child until the amount is settled in full.
If you would like to pay on a termly or half-termly basis this would be most helpful. Once again we do not wish to cause offence by issuing reminder notices.
Dinner money should be sent in on a Monday morning. Staff are available in the playground to collect it.
If at any time you wish your child to change from school dinners to packed lunch or vice versa we need a half term’s notice in writing, regretfully we are not able to make exceptions.
Please let us know in writing asap if their child/ren are vegetarian.
Packed Lunches and Snacks
Children need a balanced diet with a good variety of foods to ensure that all their requirements for growth and development are met.
The government has indicated that all school dinners must meet nutritional guidelines and these standards are met by the LEA contractors (Edwards and Ward). It seems only fair that we should attempt to make sure that packed lunches meet the same criteria.
What does this mean?
Some children at Earlsfield have severe allergies to nuts and could be hospitalised if we are not vigilant. Nut allergies are becoming increasingly significant in schools so in line with other establishments Earlsfield has a No Nuts Policy. Many manufacturers indicate that their products may have traces of nuts due to preparation and this can be unavoidable. However, items such as peanut butter, sesame products, cereal bars (that clearly have nuts) etc can pose a significant health risk and will be removed from lunch boxes on health and safety grounds. Items we would never expect to see in a lunch box include chocolate bars such a mars bars and also fizzy drinks. We ask that you check sugar content – children react in very different ways.
Monday to Thursday
- A portion of fruit and or salad
- Meat, fish or another source of non-dairy protein. Non dairy sources of protein include lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas and falafel
- Fish such as salmon
- A starchy food, such as bread or pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, potatoes or other cereals
- A dairy food such as cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais or custard
- Include only; water, still or sparkling, fruit juice, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, yoghurt or milk drinks and smoothies
- Cereal bars
- Pretzels, seeds, fruit, crackers and cheese, and vegetable or bread sticks with a dip.
- Curries (vegetable or chicken)
- Boiled rice
- No nut based products or food that knowingly includes nuts
The Government indicates that crisps, cake and chocolate-coated items should not be included. On a Friday we feel that a compromise is fair so children may have (as part of a balanced packed lunch and not a lunch box full of!) have one of the following:
- Chocolate coated biscuit or wafers
- A bag of crisps
- Sausage rolls and pie.
- Small fairy cakes/muffins
- Chocolate cereal bar
- 1 small pudding tub (e.g. chocolate mousse/trifle etc.)
We don’t police packed lunch boxes (we shouldn’t have to!) but we will contact you if we feel that the contents do not meet the agreed code. Generally speaking occurrences like this are very rare. A number of inspirational ideas can be found all over the internet such as School Food Trust website.
If your child wishes to change from packed lunch to school dinners or vice versa we require half a terms notice.
Snacks for playtimes and clubs
Children should only bring fresh or dried fruit to school for playtimes and clubs to fit in with nutritional guidelines.
This aligns with the fresh fruit scheme in Early Years and KS1. This should also be the case also for after school clubs. It is the most sensible option if children are undertaking physical activity; water should be brought if a drink is required. On a Friday we are happy to relax the rules in the same way as school dinners so on these days children may bring nut-free cereal bars, snack-a-jacks or other healthy options. When collecting your children from school please do not give them items to eat on the school premises – they stain and damage the playing surface and create additional work for the cleaners.
RRS Article 24
You have the right to clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that they will stay healthy.