Have you ever stopped to think about what goes into your child’s packed lunch?
To put it plainly, the quality of packed lunches in the UK is pretty rubbish. Whilst many parents try to take care planning healthy lunchboxes, it has been found that just 1.6% of packed lunches in England meet nutritional standards!
As well as this:
Only 20% contain any vegetables or salad
Between 52% and 60% contain too many sweet and savoury snacks
46% include sugary drinks
More than 50% fail to meet the requirements for vitamin C
Only 23% meet the requirements for iron
Children consuming packed lunches consume, on average, 11g more sugar and 101mg more sodium than those on school meals
The meal your child eats at lunchtime contributes significantly towards their overall diet quality and therefore their health, so it's vital that we're getting it right.
In terms of quality, school meals have consistently come out on top, containing less sweetened foods and drinks, savoury snacks, fats and salt, and more fibre, protein, vegetables and water. This is because school meals are required to meet the School Food Standards, ensuring that children are provided with the energy and nutrition they need to get the most from the school day.
Furthermore, allowing your child to have school meals also takes the time and stress out of planning and making their packed lunch, while also ensuring they are getting the adequate nutrition to fuel their study and play!