School Meals AND PACKED LUNCHES
At Earlsfield we promote a healthy lifestyle. This is embedded in the curriculum. Due to COVID we encourage all children to being their own named water bottle to school.
The cost of a school meal is £3.00. As a result of Universal Free School Meals and the Mayors Lunch Scheme for London, only Nursery parents purchase lunch if that is what they require for their children.
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 paid in advance via Parentmail.
If at any time you wish your child to change from school dinners to packed lunch we require two weeks notice.
Dietary needs are collated on admission.
From September meals will be provided as part of the LEA’s catering contract with Harrison.
Autumn term menu
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.
Within government guidelines cereal bars are classed as confectionary https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-food-standards-resources-for-schools/portion-sizes-and-food-groups#snacks
Chocolate coated items should not be brought to school according to School Food Standards. The school caterer cannot use chocolate.
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
- At least one portion of fruit and one portion of vegetables or salad
- Meat, fish or another source of non-dairy protein. Non-dairy sources of protein include lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas and falafel, every day, should be offered as part of a sandwich, roll or salad
- Oily fish such as salmon, pilchards sardines at least once every three weeks if possible
- A starchy food, such as bread or pasta, rice, couscous, noodles, roti, boiled rice, other cereals or curries (vegetable or meat-based) every day. Across the week, try to provide three different types of starchy foods including at least one wholegrain/whole-wheat variety
- A dairy food such as cheese, yoghurt, fromage frais or custard, every day.
- Pretzels, seeds, fruit, crackers and cheese, and vegetable or bread sticks with a dip.
No nut based products or food that knowingly includes nuts
- Include only; water, still or sparkling, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, yoghurt or milk drinks - not fruit juices.
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:
- Biscuits or wafers (not chocolate coated)
- A bag of crisps
- Sausage rolls and pie.
- Small fairy cakes/muffins
- Cereal bar (must not contain chocolate)
- 1 small pudding tub (e.g. cocoa-based mousse/trifle etc.)
Within government guidelines cereal bars are classed as confectionary
Chocolate coated items should not be brought to school according to School Food Standards.
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.
Packed Lunch Options for school trips if you wish your child to have the school option
We monitor packed lunches. 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 and in the lunch boxes in school! For more information on what is classed as the high level of fat, sugar and salt, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-food-standards-resources-for-schools/portion-sizes-and-food-groups#foods-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt . Parents are also advised to use the NHS Food scanner app to help them to navigate what food options are healthier. Alternatively, to learn how to read and make sense of food labels visit British Nutrition Foundation.
Packed lunches can be difficult to manage; thinking of ideas for their contents can be challenging for parents. For ideas on healthy lunch box recipes for children over the age of five years, visit the Change4Life website or use the NHS Food scanner app to choose the healthier options when shopping. For packed lunch ideas for children under the age of 5, visit Packed lunches for 1-4 year olds
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. (Biscuits, crisps, do not fit this category.) 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.