At the Federation of Fryern Infant and Junior Schools, we believe that the best option for children at lunchtime is to have the hot school dinner, provided through our partnership with HC3S. We expect that parents of children in Key Stage 1 will take up the option of the Universal Infant Free School Meal. This is because we believe that the hot school dinner option is much better for the children’s learning and health. We recognise the evidence that states

• Children are better prepared for learning if they eat well

• Children make more progress if they have eaten the right nutritional lunch

• Only 1% of packed lunches provide the correct nutrition

• Eating hot dinners is an important social occasion and the children learn vital social skills

HC3S provide all the nutrients that children require through the week. They produce a menu which has a three-weekly cycle and is available for parents to view (Lunch Menu Summer 2016).

Our goal is to have ZERO packed lunches.

Healthy Weights in Hampshire – Children

These research findings indicate why healthy eating and good exercise is such an important topic in our schools.

1 in 5 of our Year R children are overweight or obese

1 in 3 of our Year 6 children are overweight or obese

Nationally, 1 in 5 secondary students are obese

Social deprivation makes matters worse

Children with physical or learning disabilities are at greater risk

Packed Lunches – What the research tell us

• Only 1% of packed lunches meet nutritional standards

• Only 5% of packed lunches contain all 5 of the necessary food groups

• Less than 20% contain any vegetables

• About half contain dairy or fruit

• Fruit is the thing least likely to be eaten from the lunchbox

• One third contain no protein

This is based on a sample of nearly 1300 packed lunches.

The message is clear – hot school dinners are the healthy option, the best option for learning and behaviour.