School Catering/ Cantȋn yr Ysgol
Appetite for Life information for parents.
The following information can be used to help inform parents about changes to food provision in line with Appetite for Life recommendations for example; in school newsletters, websites, leaflets etc.
What is Appetite for Life?
Appetite for Life is the Welsh Assembly Government’s plan for improving the food and drink provided in schools in Wales.
It sets new food, drink and nutrient standards that mean food provided in school will be healthy and well balanced and snack foods and drinks with little or no nutritional value will not be available.
The food and drink based standards apply across the school day including breakfast clubs, mid morning break, tuck shops, vending machines, lunch time provision and after school clubs. The nutrient based standards apply to the food served at lunch times.
What are the “nutrient based standards”?
The nutrient based standards list a maximum amount of fat, saturated fat, added sugars and salt and minimum amount for vitamins and minerals for an average school lunch. There are also calorie limits which mean that the average school lunch contains energy which is right for the needs of children and young people. All the food provided by the school‘s catering team at lunchtimes has been nutritionally analysed against the nutrient based standards to ensure your child can choose from a healthy balanced variety of foods at lunch time.
What sort of foods will be on offer?
Although there are some restrictions, a large variety of foods including desserts can still be served under Appetite for Life recommendations including favourites such as pasta, panini’s, salads, jacket potatoes and home baked cakes.
School lunches must also include a portion of fruit and a portion of vegetables for every pupil every day.
The lunch time provision is generally planned in advance and menus showing the meals that your child can choose should be available from your child’s school.
In secondary schools the range of food on offer tends to be wider and more varied than in primary schools. Most secondary schools offer a wide range of options such as traditional hot dishes and meal deals – generally offering good value for money, salad bars, and jacket potatoes with fillings, sandwiches, baguettes, rolls and healthy drinks.
Can my child still have a snack at break time?
Yes, snacks should still be available in schools but individual school policies will vary. Appetite for Life recommends that food and drinks served across the school day must have a clear nutritional benefit.
In secondary schools, recommended break time snacks include bread products, fruit, vegetables, and yoghurts. Fizzy drinks high in added sugars and sweeteners are being replaced with plain water, milk and fruit juice drinks.
Many schools are working together with the Welsh National Healthy Schools Scheme to promote fruit and vegetable snacks and encourage water drinking.
My child isn’t sure that they will like the food on offer on the new menu?
Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School offers taster portions of new foods at lunchtimes for pupils to try to help establish new favourites.
Want to know more about school meals?
If you think your child may be eligible for free school meals, contact Joanne Morgan. Torfaen Catering, Education Services. 01633 647715 to find out more information.